Trailing in a new Iowa poll, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is stepping up his advertising and planning an aggressive campaign schedule in the leadoff caucus state, starting this week.
The new ad, released just five days after Perry's first, reflects a sense of urgency in Iowa. Perry has pinned his hopes of establishing himself as the chief alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but he tied for fifth-place in a key poll with roughly two months until the state's leadoff caucuses.
"If you're looking for a slick politician, or a guy with great teleprompter skills, we already have that, and he's destroying our economy," Perry says in the new ad, a direct jab at President Barack Obama. "I'm a doer, not a talker."
The new ad follows Perry's weak showing Sunday in The Des Moines Register's Iowa Poll. Perry, who has visited Iowa seven times since he entered the race in mid-August, received support from just 7 percent of likely caucusgoers, tied with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Businessman Herman Cain led in the poll with 23 percent, followed closely by Romney with 22 percent, who enjoys a steady level of support despite only visiting Iowa three times this year.
The ad picks up on the theme of Perry's first campaign ad, a 30-second spot also launched in Iowa promising 2.5 million jobs and pointing to his economic record as governor of Texas.
But the new spot also nudges Romney, who has emerged in his second bid for the GOP nomination as a skilled debater.
Perry, on the other hand, has been criticized for poor debate performances. The new 30-second spot, which is to start running in Iowa late Monday, seeks to flip the criticism into a confident examination of his record.
Perry aides say the Register's poll reflects fluidity in the race and an opportunity for Perry. Almost 60 percent in the poll taken last week as Perry's first ad was hitting the airwaves said they could be convinced to support another candidate in the next two months.
"I think the schedule can be summed up in one word: Aggressive," Perry's senior Iowa adviser Bob Haus said. "He will be in a position to shine where he does best, and that's retail campaigning. When he meets people, he's converting them and that's what he needs to do."
Perry plans to stress Texas' nation-leading job growth and set himself apart from the field as the economic authority Tuesday as one of five Republicans to participate in an economic forum in Iowa, put on by the National Association of Manufacturers and co-hosted by Gov. Terry Branstad.
Other candidates also participating in the event are Gingrich, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Perry also plans to campaign in Des Moines before leaving the state, only to return Friday for a day of campaign events capped by a state GOP fundraising banquet where the same five hopefuls plan to attend.
Perry has sought to establish himself as the candidate best able to attack the nation's, and the GOP's, chief concern: Jobs.
Romney, a former investment capital executive, has seized on his decades of private-sector experience more than his time as governor to present himself as the GOP field's leader on the economy. Romney, however, has sought to avoid multicandidate campaign events, except for nationally televised debates with his rivals.
Romney has kept an arm's length from Iowa this year, focusing his early-state attention on his neighboring New Hampshire, home of the leadoff primary. But Romney has gradually stepped up his organizational effort in Iowa, where he campaigned aggressively four years ago, hoping to peak late and generate momentum in the Jan. 3 caucuses.