The Washington Times - December 1, 2011, 09:31AM

With about a month to go before the Iowa caucuses kick off the nomination process, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his first television ad in the Hawkeye State on Thursday, playing up his business background and his campaign pledge to cut federal spending.

“The right answer for America is to stop the growth of the federal government and start the growth of the private sector,” Mr. Romney says in the “The Right Answer — Iowa” ad.

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The 30-second spot pulls some of the other go-to remarks Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has employed on the campaign trail, where he’s talked about his time in the private sector competing with companies around the world.

“I’ve learned something about how economies grow,” Mr. Romney says before providing a brief glimpse of his plan to get the nation’s fiscal house in order.

“We are not going to balance the budget by pretending all you have to do is take out the waste. We’re going to have to cut spending,” he says, while advocating for a balanced-budget amendment and capping federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, down from the current levels of 24 percent.

Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said that in releasing the ad in the closing weeks before the Iowa caucuses, which are scheduled for Jan. 3, “we will continue to make the case that Mitt Romney is the best candidate to beat Barack Obama.”

“Mitt Romney has always said that he would campaign and compete in Iowa. He looks forward to participating in the two upcoming Iowa debates. Going on television is just another tool in getting Mitt Romney’s message out that Barack Obama has failed as a president, and that he is the best choice to grow the economy, cut spending and create jobs,” she said.