"After decades in Washington, Newt Gingrich has mastered the art of name dropping, mentioning Ronald Reagan over 50 times in recent debates," said Charlie Spies, treasurer of the Restore Our Future super-PAC, in a statement.
"After each debate, you'd think Newt Gingrich was Ronald Reagan's vice president, but Reagan rejected Gingrich and his liberal defense policies. Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan. He's another Jimmy Carter, just like Obama."
The ad is slated to run across Florida, and serve as a response to a $6 million ad buy announced last night by a pro-Gingrich super-PAC. The outside groups have been dueling throughout the campaign, trading critical attack ads.
The commercial then segues into a montage of Gingrich's mentions of the conservative icon. According to The New York Times, Gingrich has mentioned Reagan 55 times over 17 GOP debates — far outpacing Rick Santorum (14 mentions in 18 debates) or Mitt Romney (six mentions in 17 debates).
"Gingrich exaggerates, dropping Reagan's name 50 times," the narrator continues. "But in his diaries, Reagan mentioned Gingrich ... only once."
That echoes an attack Romney made in a debate last Thursday in Charleston, S.C.
"Mr. Speaker, you talk about all the things you did with Ronald Reagan and the Reagan Revolution and the jobs created during the Reagan years and so forth. I mean, I looked at the Reagan diary. You were mentioned once in Ronald Reagan's diary. And in the diary he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressmen, and it wasn't a very good idea, and he dismissed it. That's the entire mention," Romney said.
The ad goes on to argue that Reagan did not agree with Gingrich's proposed policies.
"Reagan criticized Gingrich, saying Newt's ideas 'would cripple our defense program,' " the narrator continues. "Reagan rejected Newt's ideas. On leadership and character, Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan."