JACKSON–The Ross campaign on Wednesday released a new television ad that focuses on Phil Bryant’s shifting stances on tough issues.

Named “Flip Flop Phil,” the ad highlights different stances that Bryant has taken on the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi and gaming.

Bryant served on the illegal Partnership’s Board of Directors, calling it an “honor” and a “worthy cause” in a 2003 letter to Mike Moore. Moore returned the compliment in 2006, saying “One of my best friends in the world is Phil Bryant, who is State Auditor,” and “You know he’s a great guy and has always been supportive of the Partnership.”

But when Bryant began to feel the political heat, he started backpedaling. In a June 20, 2007 radio interview, Bryant stated “the Supreme Court made a good decision,” referring to the Court’s decision that effectively killed the Partnership.

Was the illegal Partnership a good thing or not?

Bryant also said in another 2003 letter to Moore that he knew accountability was “prevalent” in the Partnership. Then, in a June 11, 2007 interview with Matt Friedeman, Bryant says that he added “accountability where there was none.” Just a few days later in a June 20, 2007 radio interview, Bryant said that “a lot of money was wasted” by the Partnership.

“Phil Bryant says that he added accountability to the Partnership,” Ross campaign spokesman Josh Blades said. “Then, just a few days later, he admitted that ‘a lot of money was wasted.’ Mississippi taxpayers deserve to know–was the Partnership accountable or not?”

The Partnership is not the only issue on which Bryant has taken different stances. In the June 11, 2007 radio interview with the Mississippi Connection’s Matt Friedeman, Bryant made the following statement in response to a question that asked whether gaming is moral:

“Of course it’s not. There’s no way to say morally, Matt, that it’s good.”

But just a few days later while speaking to a group of businessmen on the Coast, Bryant called casinos “a great business,” adding that “Casinos are going to grow, and I went to the Beau Rivage the other day and they seem to be doing good (sic) right where they’re at. We are going to make sure that this is a destination location for the world.”

Is Phil in favor of gaming or not?

“It’s easy to tell people what they want to hear, but that’s not leadership,” Blades said. “The people of Mississippi deserve better.”

“Mississippians want a leader who will shoot straight with them and a leader who is not afraid to take a stand on the difficult issues,” Ross campaign spokesman Josh Blades added. “With his record of flip-flopping on tough issues, Phil Bryant has shown that he is not that leader. ”

“Charlie Ross knows where he stands and knows what he believes,” Blades concluded. “He has the same beliefs in Tupelo as he does in Biloxi, and he has the courage to stand up for them.”

Charlie Ross Campaign Release