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Al Gore found a cheerleader in Texas named Rick Perry,” the narrator says in the 60-second spot. “Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore’s campaign to undo the Reagan revolution, fighting to elect Al Gore president of the United States. Now America must decide who to trust. Al Gore’s Texas cheerleader or the one who stood with Reagan.”

In response, the Perry camp highlighted the resignation letter Mr. Paul wrote in 1987, in which he explained his reasons for cutting ties with the Republican Party, with much of the criticism aimed directly at the 40th president.

“There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government. That is the message of the Reagan years,” Mr. Paul wrote, blasting the deficits and debt run-up under the Reagan White House. (Mr. Paul ran for president in 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party, but subsequently rejoined the GOP.)

Mark Miner, Perry campaign spokesman, called the Paul letter “a broadside attack on every element of President Reagan’s record and philosophy.”

Paul thought President Reagan was so bad, he left the GOP,” Mr. Miner said. “It will be interesting to hear Rep. Paul explain why Reagan drove him from the party at tomorrow’s debate on the grounds of the Reagan Library.”