Already, Ron Paul has ads up branding Rick Santorum a deceitful, cash-grabbing dirtbag and “serial hypocrite.” Santorum supporter and erstwhile presidential wannabe Gary Bauer is starring in ads (funded by the Emergency Committee for Israel) bashing Paul’s foreign policy. The pro–Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future is circulating flyers accusing Newt Gingrich of being a pro-choice backer of China’s one-child policy. Most impressive of all: the pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future is spending $3.4 million to run anti-Romney ads cut from a 27-and-a-half-minute documentary about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. With a message that boils down to GREEDY CORPORATE RAIDER MITT ROMNEY IS THE REASON YOU LOST YOUR JOB, YOUR HOUSE, YOUR MEDICAL INSURANCE, AND YOUR BELOVED PET LABRADOR, the ad campaign is brutal enough that it would impress the late godfather of political knife-fighting, Lee Atwater.
Atwater, you will recall, cut his teeth in South Carolina.
“We understand backyard brawls,” chuckles Chad Connelly, chairman of the state GOP. “That’s been part of the political scene here for years and years.”