First on CNN: Ted Cruz campaign ad narrows in on specific South Carolina base

Story highlights

  • Cruz's campaign began airing a television spot in Columbia, South Carolina
  • The ad is meant to target voters on military issues near the Army base in Fort Jackson

(CNN)Ted Cruz is targeting a very specific community in South Carolina -- the Army base in Fort Jackson -- with a new television ad making a direct appeal to that military community.

The Texas senator's campaign began airing a television spot in Columbia, South Carolina, according to advertising records from CMAG/Kantar Media, on the local CBS affiliate. Cruz is increasingly seeing South Carolina as the rubber match between him and Donald Trump after each might claim an early-voting state, and the spot is a personalized pitch to security-minded voters and veterans.
"When it comes to defeating radical Islamic terrorism, the Midlands knows victory starts here," the spot begins. "More than 50% of all U.S. Army soldiers get their start at Fort Jackson. But President Obama is decimating our military, threatening 3,000 jobs at Fort Jackson. That's wrong."
    South Carolina Republican voters take the polls on Saturday, February 20.
    "Ted Cruz will protect Fort Jackson jobs as president to help keep America safe," the spot continues. "Ted Cruz: rebuild our military and kill the terrorists."
    While digital advertising is commonly geo-targeted, it is somewhat unusual to design a television spot for one media market.
    Fort Jackson is losing 180 military personnel as part of restructuring of the Army, according to The State newspaper, a smaller reduction than previously anticipated.
    After the advertisement first ran, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign took a whack at Cruz's record on funding the military and Fort Jackson.
    "It's hard to imagine how Cruz would protect Fort Jackson, since he has never voted for a defense authorization bill to protect Fort Jackson," said spokesman Jahan Wilcox.