Democratic House candidate Patrick Murphy of Florida hit back at opponent Rep. Allen West with a new ad challenging the incumbent’s military record, accusing the Republican of criminal activity in an incident regarding an Iraqi prisoner.
The ad is in retaliation to a recent West campaign ad that juxtaposed the incumbent’s Army career with Mr. Murphy’s 2003 arrest in connection with a disturbance outside a South Florida nightclub.
“West was charged in 2003 of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault and relieved of his command,” the ad’s announcer says. The ad goes on to accuse Mr. West of performing “illegal acts” that merited court martial.
Mr. West’s more than two-decade military career ended in 2004 after the Army investigated his handling of a detainee while serving in Taji, Iraq, the previous year. Mr. West, a lieutenant colonel at the time, acknowledged firing a handgun near the detainee’s head to elicit information. After the investigation, he paid a $5,000 fine for his conduct and was allowed to retire with full benefits.
Mr. West has defended his actions, the legal fight over which were widely reported in The Washington Times and other media outlets at the time, saying he was only trying to get information from the detainee to protect his troops.
Mr. Murphy’s arrest occurred when he was a 19-year-old University of Miami freshman. He was accused of disorderly intoxication and possessing a fake driver’s license, though the charges were dropped. He told a Florida newspaper this year the incident was “the biggest mistake of my life” and the “biggest learning experience of my life.”
Click here to see the Murphy ad: http://youtu.be/v1BcISId0Mg
And for the West ad, click here: http://youtu.be/R-lDL9_qDDs