In late August, the New Mexico Republican Party ran a campaign ad in support of Senate hopeful Allen Weh (R), which stood out for its demagoguery. The commercial became the first spot of the 2014 cycle to include footage released by Islamic State terrorists who murdered journalist James Foley.
It was not, however, the last. Amanda Terkel reported yesterday:
A Republican House candidate in Arizona has a new ad up attacking her opponent for being soft on terrorism. The ad features footage from the apparent execution of American journalist James Foley, despite the fact that his family has pleaded with the public not to watch the gruesome beheading.The new 30-second spot was put out by the campaign of Wendy Rogers, who is challenging Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in the state’s 9th District.
In the ugly attack ad, the far-right candidate condemns Sinema for supporting a policy that would close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay – a position that enjoyed broad, bipartisan support as recently as 2008.
There’s apparently some question about the current state of the commercial. I’ve seen some reports that the ad has since been “pulled,” but the Arizona Republic reported last night that the Republican campaign “left the original version online under a new web address.”
Davis’ spokesperson told the Arizona Republic the ad “would continue airing on television, despite mounting criticism,” but the Associated Press reported this morning that the Republican campaign has agreed to “edit” the attack ad.
Regardless, I wish I understood why an American, presumably with a sound moral compass, would consider a commercial like this appropriate. Obviously, under the First Amendment, Davis can try to destroy the reputations of members of Congress, but it’s hard not to wonder why someone would choose to abandon a sense of decency with such mindless recklessness.
As we discussed in August, let’s say you’re a candidate for a major public office. And then let’s say you come across ISIS’s propaganda video in which terrorists murder an innocent American.
If your first thought is, “Excerpts from that terrorist propaganda video would look great in a campaign commercial,” maybe it’s time to reevaluate your priorities.
For what it’s worth, Sinema was narrowly elected in 2012 in Arizona’s 9th district, generally one of the state’s most competitive. Most forecasts consider the incumbent a slight favorite, though the impact of Rogers’ latest tactics remain unclear.