New Allen West ad features Murphy’s 2003 mug shot; Murphy camp raises West’s 2003 Iraq incidentby George Bennett | September 28th, 2012
Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West released a hard-hitting attack ad today that contrasts his military service with Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy‘s 2003 arrest as a 19-year-old for disorderly intoxication and possessing a fake driver license outside a Miami Beach club.
The 30-second ad, which features Murphy’s disheveled mug shot, doesn’t mention that Murphy was a teenager at the time or that the intoxication charge was dropped and the fake ID charge dismissed.
While Murphy was having his run-in with police, the ad says West was in Fort Hood, Texas, preparing to deploy to Iraq.
“Two men. A country in crisis. You decide,” a male narrator’s voice says at the end of the ad.
Murphy’s campaign responded by bringing up the 2003 incident in Iraq in which then-Lt. Col. West fired a gun near the head of an Iraqi detainee during an interrogation. Military prosecutors charged West with assault and he potentially faced 11 years in prison and dishonorable discharge. After a military hearing, he was fined $5,000 and allowed to retire as a lieutenant colonel with a full pension.
“Allen West is shamelessly attacking Patrick Murphy for a mistake he made as a teenager, which he has discussed at length in the media as a mistake he learned from. West then goes on to discuss his tenure in the military in 2003 while failing to acknowledge that he was criminally charged that year for assault and violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” said Murphy for Congress communications director Erin Moffet. “The only reason he was able to escape prosecution is because he cut a deal to retire. Unfortunately, West’s unstable behavior has continued in Congress, and he continues to diminish the office and the people to which he serves.”
Said West campaign manager Tim Edson: “Allen West retired from the Army with full benefits. If Patrick Murphy wants to try to equate his drunken brawling…with Allen West’s efforts to save his soldiers’ lives in combat, bring it on.”