Perry campaign plans big Iowa TV push

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears on the Republican Presidential Forum on "Huckabee," the Fox News program hosted by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 in New York.
AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams
Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry
AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams

UPDATED 12:25 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign plans an aggressive television advertising push ahead of the Jan 3. Iowa caucuses, a massive effort aimed at encouraging voters to give him a second look.

According to a source with knowledge of the plans, the campaign has already spent more than $1.2 million on Iowa television ads and more spending is planned. The commercials will run from now until the first votes are casts in next year's presidential primary season.

A pro-Perry Super PAC, Make Us Great Again, is also in the process of placing orders, though it was not immediately clear how much the Super PAC is spending. The group spent about $280,000 last week to run ads in Iowa and South Carolina, which holds its primary Jan. 21.

Despite the financial strength of Perry's campaign, the Texas governor continues to lag in the polls, coming in fourth in a survey of likely caucus goers released Tuesday. Perry received 11 percent support from likely caucus goers in the CBS News/New York Times survey, behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

The advertising push this month has invested heavily in spots that promote Perry's faith, an attempt to win over conservative voters in Iowa who have proven to be loyal caucus attendees. In a new ad entitled "Strong," Perry accuses President Obama of promulgating a "war on religion."

"I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school," Perry says. He pledges to end the "liberal attacks on our religious heritage."

Last week, Perry released an ad called "Faith" that said everyone, including leaders, need gods help.

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    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.