DENVER (CBS4) – Within hours of the announement earlier this week by Rick Santorum that he was suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for president, a Republican organization announced the launch of a new ad that will run in Colorado that slams the president’s energy policy.

The ad, from Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, began running on Wednesday in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, two Colorado cities where the president’s ads have already run.

“In touting his energy policy (President Barack Obama) made some false claims,” said Nate Hodson of Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies. “The markets in which he adverstised are the ones in which we’re setting the record straight.”

The $96,000 ad campaign is being featured in six projected battleground states, and of all the swing states expected to be fiercely contested, Colorado is one of the hottest.

“This is probably Ground Zero for the presidential campaign,” said Democratic strategist Mike Stratton.

Stratton said Coloradans can expect an all-out assault on the airwaves — from both Republicans and Democrats — from now until November.

“These two teams have been getting ready for each other for a long time. No one was going to beat these two teams,” he said.

Crossroads CPS says Colorado is a major target in what’s planned to be a $200 million effort to send Mitt Romney to the White House. Hodson says the timing of the ads had nothing to do with Santorum’s exit from the race.

“It was purely coincidental. We had had this ad planned in the works for a while,” he said.


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