Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Romney Battles Huckabee Surge

To combat Mike Huckabee's surge in recent polls, Mitt Romney is airing a "contrast" ad in Iowa on illegal immigration.

The ad begins by highlighting the similarities shared by Romney and Huckabee on the life and marriage issues:

"Two former governors . . . two good family men . . . both pro-life . . . both support a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage," says the ad's narrator.

The ad then argues that the real difference between Romney and Huckabee is on illegal immigration.

It specifically targets Huckabee for having supported in-state tuition benefits as well as taxpayer-funded scholarships for the children of illegal immigrants.

In an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson, Romney compared the Huckabee "surge" to previous surges and predicted like the McCain surge, the Giuliani surge, and the Fred Thompson surge, the Huckabee surge would eventually deflate:
And in the past, what's happened is, when the surge occurs, people look more closely at the record of the vision of the person running . . . and inevitably the surge kinda deflates. I think you will see the same thing here; I sure hope so.
Romney's contrast ad hit the airwaves shortly after Huckabee launched his own immigration ad, which calls for "no amnesty," building a border fence, and "doing it now."

The ad and Huckabee's new immigration plan are designed to counter the criticism that Huckabee has supported in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants.

Even if immigration is a hotter issue than Iraq, it's going to take more than Romney's the new contrast ad to deflate the Huckabee surge.

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