Rick Perry's 'Michael Bay-style' attack on 'RomneyCare'

The Texan's dramatic new ad blasts Mitt Romney's health-care record for being too similar to President Obama's. Will it help Perry?

Rick Perry's latest attack ad
(Image credit: YouTube)

Just a day before Tuesday's GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire, Texas Gov. (and flailing Republican presidential hopeful) Rick Perry unveiled what's being called the "harshest and most slickly produced attack ad" of the 2012 presidential race. (Watch it below.) The "Michael Bay-style" video blasts frontrunner Mitt Romney for the health-care plan he enacted while governor of Massachusetts, which was a model of sorts for President Obama's own health-care-reform package. The ad begins with footage of Obama staring into a mirror before a thunderclap turns the reflection into an image of Romney. Some of Romney's most damaging soundbites ("I like mandates," for instance) are then strung together with apocalyptic music and cannon-fire sound effects. The ad concludes with Romney saying, "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Will this ad really help Perry?

Let's see if Perry says this to Mitt's face: Produced by Lucas Baiano (who also created Tim Pawlenty's "attack-ad-meets-Transformers preview" campaign spots), Perry's ad is "probably the most dramatic video about health policy you'll ever watch," says Sarah Kliff at The Washington Post. Now Perry has a chance to make the same attack points during Tuesday's debate, albeit "without special effects." If he succeeds, it could be a breakout night for the Texas governor.

"Perry's RomneyCare ad: Health policy gets really dramatic"

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Which means Perry needs to hone his talking points: Perry must "keep up the offensive," says Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner. He seriously fumbled the opportunity to ding Romney on health care during the last debate, so this time around, he'd better be prepared to articulate how, exactly, Romney's plan is so similar to Obama's. And to "counter Romney's federalism dodge," Perry must clearly explain that "just because individual states can pursue certain policies" — in this case, an individual mandate to purchase health insurance — "it doesn't mean they should."

"Perry's anti-RomneyCare ad"

This ad might not even help Perry: This is undoubtedly a scathing ad, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. And if the other candidates weren't so "busy attacking Perry," we'd probably have seen even more anti-Romney ads by now. But unless the Texas governor wins several upcoming debates, this ad will just end up helping "whomever gains the anti-Romney vote." Perry's campaign need to start focusing on "why Perry should get the nomination instead of why Romney shouldn't."

"New Perry ad picks up the 'ObamneyCare' attack"

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.