ANALYSIS: Allen West Feeling the Heat of Campaign

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  • While most Americans are focused on the tough-and-gritty race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, U.S. Rep. Allen West, a black Republican from Florida, says he’s also a victim of mean-spirited campaigning in his contest for re-election.

    A new campaign ad called “Fighter” shows a cartoon version of West wearing boxing gloves and repeatedly punching women in the face. The ad, sponsored by American Sunrise PAC, shows West punching out an elderly woman in a boxing ring as a narrator says West "socked it to seniors" by pushing to get rid of Medicare.

    The cartoon also shows West punching a younger woman as the narrator criticizes West's support for slashing funding for women's health care programs.

    "Allen West fancies himself a fighter. Maybe so," a female narrator says while laughing. "West has socked it to seniors, voting to end Medicare as we know it. He's whacked women with his votes for huge cuts in women's health care funding. And he's mauled middle-class families by supporting a budget plan that would have cut taxes on the rich while eliminating our tax breaks for college tuition and mortgages."

    "Allen West is a fighter, alright," the narrator says. "But it's time for us to fight back and knock him out of Congress once and for all."
    West called the ad "reprehensible" and "classless," and he added that the ad "plays on stereotypes." He claimed the ad is linked to his Democratic challenger for Congress, Patrick Murphy.

    Meanwhile, West criticized the ad, calling it "reprehensible."

    "The ad being run against me by my opponent's family depicting violence against women and senior citizens is reprehensible,” West said in a statement. “It plays on stereotypes and fear to divide Americans, and it cheapens the very real and tragic occurrences of violence against women and seniors."

    "The American people are suffering from crushing debt, horrific tax and regulatory policies, and epic unemployment,” West added. “This classless ad shows a lack of regard for the issues plaguing our nation. This ad reflects the sad state of politics in our Republic with those who seek to destroy a person's character to cover for their lack of intellectual ability and integrity."

    West is no stranger to controversy. He has not returned to a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus since he bought chicken and biscuits from Chick-fil-A for the entire black caucus earlier this year.

    Rep. Alcee Hastings said the caucus was offended by West's chicken delivery.

    “We have a rotation in the Congressional Black Caucus where every member provides the lunch one of the weeks when we meet,” Hastings told reporters. “We have fried chicken. And we have catfish and BBQ. We do not have watermelon, although sometimes people will have fruit. We serve a full course meal with collard greens. We have Jamaican beans and rice.”

    “That was an ‘in your face.’ Every member of the Congressional Black Caucus that was there was offended,” Hastings said.

    It seems West is always running off at the mouth.  Last week, he deadpanned that since he won’t have a speaking role at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, he'll be serving hot dogs instead.

    “I want everyone to know if you come to the Republican Convention I’ll be selling hot dogs,” West told reporters on Capitol Hill.

    And once again, West’s spokeswoman had to set the record straight because West was only joking.

    “Congressman West will not be selling hotdogs outside of the Convention hall,” Angela Melvin said in an e-mail to reporters.

    West isn’t very funny – and it’s getting harder to take him seriously on Capitol Hill.
     

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