Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul's first TV ad began running in Iowa and New Hampshire on Friday. The TV spot entitled "Conviction" is done in the style of a movie trailer. In the 60-second commercial, Paul hits home on all the economic points he's long discussed: excessive debt, government spending and a weak dollar.
The ad was presumably funded by the $4.5 million his campaign raised in the second quarter. Among GOP contenders, Paul's fund-raising effort only trailed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who raised more than $18 million in the same period.
"The campaign is doing exceptionally well," Rep. Paul (R-TX) tells the Daily Ticker's Daniel Gross in the accompanying clip. "If you compare the number of supporters and the ability to raise money -- it's so much better now than it was four years ago."
The financial crisis and recession have benefited Congressman Paul's White House hopes. Many of the issues he speaks to - including previously esoteric notions about the Federal Reserve -- have moved to the forefront of U.S. politics, helping him move from the fringe to serious candidate.
Paul will likely gain populist points on the the campaign trail if he continues to rail against corporate bailouts like TARP, as he did in our interview. "The depression would have been on the people who were making all the money on Wall Street but they gave the depression to the people in the middle class who lost their jobs and houses."
And, as he has in previous discussions with the Daily Ticker, Paul continues to blame Fed policy for our current economic problems. "The Fed has been designed to give us stable prices and high employment. They've totaled failed in both areas," he argues.
Does Ron Paul have a realistic shot at winning the GOP nomination?