Welcome to Low Country: A Compendium of South Carolina Political Ads

As GOP presidential rivals compete in the notoriously nasty primary race in South Carolina, negative ad season is reaching its climax. Here is a comprehensive guide to all the mudslinging currently underway on Palmetto State airwaves.

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Danny Wilcox Frazier / Redux for TIME

Mitt Romney

Team Romney has barraged South Carolina with television ads, radio spots, mailings and robo-calls, jabbing President Obama, defending Romney’s work at Bain Capital and denouncing GOP rivals. They’ve dialed up South Carolina voters with pre-recorded messages touting South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s endorsement and bashing Rick SantorumRestore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, has already spent $2.2 million in South Carolina, portraying Gingrich as “Desperate” and blasting Santorum’s voting history in TV ads. The group has also sent mailers condemning Santorum for “wasteful spending.”

“Free Enterprise”


“Bright Future”


Restore Our Future





Newt Gingrich

Gingrich promised to go “all out” in South Carolina and was one of the first to launch anti-Romney ads there. His campaign released a few TV ads including: “Changed” and “Timid vs. Bold” attacking Romney’s voting record on abortion rights and economic policies. They are also sending anti-Romney mailers with similar messages. Gingrich’s team also wasted no time launching a TV ad, “The Moment,” highlighting his success in Monday’s debate. The pro-Gingrich Super PAC, Winning Our Future, said it would spend $3.4 million in South Carolina airing segments of a 30-minute documentary slamming Romney’s tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital, which they also made available online. Shorter versions of the documentary hit South Carolina airwaves last week. The PAC also released a 60-second animated ad of a mock debate between Romney and Obama.



“Timid vs. Bold”


“The Moment”


Winning Our Future

“King of Bain”


“Obama’s Dream Debate”


Ron Paul

Paul chose Rick Santorum as his first target, calling the candidate a “serial hypocrite” in his first South Carolina TV ad. He didn’t stop there. Paul takes on Romney, Gingrich and Santorum all at once in his latest spot. Paul has also cut radio ads featuring the voice of  Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who has not endorsed any candidate. A pro-Paul super PAC, Santa Rita, has spent over $300,000 on ad time on South Carolina broadcast and cable stations. Its recent ads contrast Paul with “greedier” GOP rivals, Gingrich and Romney.



“Three of a Kind”


Santa Rita 

“Who is Representing You?”


“No More Masks”




Rick Perry

Despite his willingness to throw barbs on the campaign trail, Rick Perry’s campaign has stayed mostly positive on South Carolina airwaves. He launched one ad showcasing his military service and gave a 30-second briefing of his life in another. Perry is also robo-calling voters with a message from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has endorsed him. Perry’s super PAC, Make Us Great Again, has spent $1.77 million in the Palmetto State, and released a TV ad promoting Perry as a fair man among “elites.”

“President of Honor”




Make Us Great Again



Rick Santorum

Santorum is stressing his electability in South Carolina with ads like “Very Best Chance.” His “Easy Answer” spot highlights similarities between Romney and Obama. Santorum’s Super PAC, Red White and Blue Fund announced a $600,000 ad buy in South Carolina. So far, the Super PAC is playing nice with only pro-Santorum ads.

“Very Best Chance”


“Easy Answer”


Red White and Blue Fund