In the next round of Rand Paul vs. Donald Trump, the Republican senator from Kentucky is releasing his campaign’s first digital ad against his presidential rival, hitting the frontrunner in a video for supporting Democrats in the past.
The video, which his campaign says will be aired in a “substantial” ad buy, launches Wednesday in New Hampshire and Iowa and runs through the weekend.
With ominous music behind it, the video opens with favorable statements that Trump has made about Democratic economic policies, Hillary Clinton, and universal health care. It also features a comment he made in 1999, in which he said, “I really believe the Republicans are just too crazy right.”
At one point, text on the screen appears, asking if Trump is really “telling it like it is?”
Then it switches to the infamous clip of former President Bill Clinton answering: “It depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”
The second half of the two-minute video features footage of Paul talking about his record and policies in major speeches that he’s delivered in the past year, portraying him as a candidate eager to reform Washington and return the Republican Party to conservative principles.
“The idea is not to go after Trump but rather to show the contrast between the two,” said Doug Stafford, chief strategist for Paul. “A lifelong Democrat who is for bailouts, corporate welfare and buying influence vs. a reformer who wants to defeat the Washington machine, not buy it.”
When asked about specific dollar figures related to the ad, Stafford did not provide the amount invested.
“We will spend what it takes to make sure every potential GOP caucus goer and primary voter in Iowa and New Hampshire gets to see why Rand Paul is the real candidate to Defeat the Washington Machine,” Stafford said in an email.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday, Trump said he has supported politicians from both parties to curry favor for his business dealings.
“I contributed to everyone,” he said. “If I go in for a meeting and I, let’s say, stiff somebody as the expression goes, when they come to come to my office, all of a sudden, I don’t get treatment.”
Paul has been aggressive in going after Trump in recent weeks in interviews and on Twitter, raising questions about Trump’s legitimacy as a Republican and seriousness as a candidate. The two candidates battled it out on stage during the Republican presidential debate last week, and their back-and-forth continued this week.
After Paul published an opinion piece railing against Trump late Sunday, the real estate titan slammed Paul on Twitter as a “spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.”
Paul responded Tuesday in New Hampshire, saying at an event that “if we’re talking about who’s a spoiled brat or not, my two kids all work minimum-wage jobs. Do you think the Trump kids have been working at the local Pizza Hut?”
CNN’s MJ Lee contributed to this report