One gauge of Mitt Romney’s mojo is that the Republican presidential candidate is now popping up in television ads for tight Senate races.
Republicans began airing commercials this week in Arizona and Montana that show Mr. Romney urging voters to support the GOP candidates, Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg. Mr. Flake holds a slim lead over Democrat Richard Carmona, while Mr. Rehberg is deadlocked with Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
Both ads feature the same background and similar scripts. In the spots, Mr. Romney tells viewers that “the stakes are high” and that by electing the Republican candidate, “we’ll get America back on track.”
Indeed, Mr. Romney is so popular that he’s even being featured in an ad for a Democrat. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill released a spot Thursday that shows Mr. Romney criticizing her opponent, Republican Rep. Todd Akin, after his remark about “legitimate rape.”
“Is Todd Akin fit to serve in the Senate? Mitt Romney doesn’t think so,” intones the ad’s voiceover.
The spot then plays video of Mr. Romney saying, “What he said was indefensible, was wrong, it was offensive, and he should step out of the race.”
Akin spokesman Rick Tyler responded with an email criticizing Mrs. McCaskill but making no mention of Mr. Romney.
“Voters have noticed that McCaskill’s ads are never about her record,” said Mr. Tyler. “That’s because her record includes voting for Obamacare, tax increases, debt increases, Wall Street bailouts and a stimulus bill where $20 million of taxpayer money went to her family business. That’s not a record she can run on so any distraction will do.”
Mr. Akin has rallied since his August gaffe, whittling down Mrs. McCaskill’s lead to single digits while gaining support from some prominent Republicans, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Mr. Romney is leading in Missouri by double digits.
The Republican presidential nominee has filmed four ads this year for Senate races, including spots for Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.