Another skirmish from the unfolding ad war in Iowa. Santorum’s not the only social conservative hopeful who’s begun hammering Cruz as a do-nothing, either. Mike Huckabee’s in on the act too:

“This has been, of all the election cycles I’ve been involved in, this has been one of the most bewildering, because it’s almost as if the more experience, the more preparation one has had for this job, it’s almost like it’s a detriment than it is an asset,” Huckabee told a crowd in Urbandale…

“If somebody comes and tells you, ‘vote for me because I’m a fighter,’ I just want to ask you something: if you fight but never win, what’s the point?” Huckabee said.

That’s been the knock on Cruz by his critics ever since the failed effort to defund ObamaCare in 2013. In fact, possibly with his eye on 2016, Santorum criticized him for it even at the time, saying in October of that year that while Cruz’s goal was laudable his shutdown tactic did more harm than good. In January of last year, he dismissed Cruz (and Rand Paul) as “a bomb thrower, with no track record of any accomplishments.” Lotta talk, nothing to show for it — that’s part of the wider “experience” argument Santorum (and Huckabee) are building against Cruz.

But it goes beyond that. If you’ve been following the Iowa campaign lately, you know that Santorum’s attacking Cruz on various weak spots. One big one is immigration: Long before Rubio and Cruz had their spat at the last debate over who is and isn’t supporting amnesty, Santorum was needling Cruz over it. In September, he accused Cruz of wanting to let illegals stay indefinitely per his now-famous proposed amendment to the Gang of Eight bill. A little more than a month later, he repeated the charge:

The comment came in response to a questioner who insisted that Santorum should take on Democrats more forcefully on [immigration].

“It’s not just the Democrats. It’s Democrats and Republicans,” Santorum said. “It’s Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and, yes, it’s Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz wants to take the H-1B program and increase it by 500 percent. He wants to go from 65,000 to 330,000. Again, ‘Mr. Conservative.’ Everybody (says) how conservative he is. He wants to increase it by five times.”

Cruz is a do-nothing except when he’s trying to do something for illegals. That’s tough stuff. But Santorum kept going: Last week, he accused him of being a weak, opportunistic social conservative by supporting federalist solutions to moral problems like drug use, gay marriage, and abortion (even though Cruz doesn’t support federalism for the last of those). A do-nothing, pro-amnesty, and a phony “values” candidate? That’s a pretty comprehensive attack. Today’s ad, though, broadens it even further by hitting Cruz on foreign policy. That’s the deeper point of the spot, I think, not just slapping Cruz as a grandstander with no track record. Watch the clip and you’ll see that all of the credentials Santorum lists on his own behalf have to do with threats abroad, not domestic policy. It’s … odd that he would choose Cruz’s “green eggs and ham” bit from his 2013 filibuster as a counterpoint to that rather than one of the libertarian-ish soundbites Cruz has dropped over the past six months, but if the point is to make the other guy sound as silly as possible, I suppose Dr. Seuss tops Rand Paul.

Incidentally, this is one of only two ads circulating today that coopts footage from one of the target’s own spots to mock him with it. The second (also posted below) is an attack on Rubio by one of Cruz’s Super PACs for responding to foreign threats by … playing fantasy football? I don’t get it. Presumably they’re drawing an Obama comparison — this is no time for fun, whether golfing or fantasy sports — but that analogy will be lost on the average voter.

Update: Good catch by a commenter: Here’s Santorum, a month before claiming Cruz did more harm than good in 2013, saying that he’d be with Cruz in the defund effort.

FairyTales from Santorum for President 2016 on Vimeo.