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New attack ad depicts Mitt Romney as machine gun-toting ‘Rombo’

A Mitt Romney look-alike carrying a machine gun, chasing and shooting mud at pop-up, cardboard cut-outs of Rick Santorum.

The latest Santorum campaign ad is part joke, but mostly a pre-emptive attack.

The ad is called "Rombo" and first appeared on Rick Santorum's official YouTube campaign channel on Valentine's Day.

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Mr. Santorum is in a dead-heat with Mr. Romney in national polls and leading Mr. Romney in Michigan, a state synonymous with the Romney family, ahead of the primary there on February 28th.

The full barrage of Romney attacks has not hit Mr. Santorum yet.

The Santorum campaign knows that Mr. Romney, his official campaign, and his surrogates – including his Restore our Future Super PAC (new political action committees that can raise unlimited money) – have a lot more money to spend on attack ads.

And they have used ads to devastating effect in the past: Newt Gingrich saw two separate surges in the polls disappear because of attacks by the Romney camp.

"Mitt Romney's negative attack machine is back. On full throttle," the ad's narrator says, as an actor steps out of a warehouse elevator, machine gun poised. His shots never hit the target, and the ad concludes with the Romney look-alike and his white shirt splattered with mud. "In the end, Mitt Romney's ugly attacks are going to backfire."

Meanwhile, the pro-Romney Super PAC Restore our Future released its own attack ad against Mr. Santorum on Tuesday, depicting the former Pennsylvania senator as a Washington, D.C. insider, a big spender.

And for good measure, it also links him to then-Senator Hillary Clinton for voting to allow convicted felons the right to vote.

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It's a line of attack used by pro-Romney supporters in the past and Mr. Santorum has defended his decision in both debates and on the campaign trail, arguing that only convicted felons who have served their sentence, and completed probation or parole should have the right to vote.

Linking your opponent to a high-profile Democrat is something Restore our Future has done in the past. Just ask Mr. Gingrich, who was linked to former speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in this attack ad.

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