Republican Rep. Allen West on Thursday decried as "classless" and "reprehensible" a new campaign ad that depicts him repeatedly punching women in the face.
The Florida congressman put out the statement as the ad, from a political group financed by his potential Democratic opponent's father, began to draw national attention beyond his South Florida district.
The startling ad opens by showing a cartoonish version of West in a boxing ring. It then shows his boxing gloves punching first an elderly woman -- showing a freeze frame of spit flying out of her mouth, punctuated by a loud "thwack" -- and then a younger woman.
The punches land as the narrator lists the groups of people West has supposedly wronged.
"Allen West fancies himself a fighter, maybe so," the narrator says. "West has socked it to seniors, voting to end Medicare as we know it."
It continues: "He's whacked women with his votes for huge cuts in women's health care funding and he's mauled middle-class families."
West said the ad reflects a "sad state of politics" in the country.
"The ad being run against me by my opponent's family depicting violence against women and senior citizens is reprehensible," West said. "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. This classless ad shows a lack of regard for the issues plaguing our nation."
American Sunrise PAC, which ran the ad, is largely funded by Thomas Murphy Jr., the father of Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy. The elder Murphy contributed the lion's share -- $250,000 -- of donations to the PAC, which only exists to support Patrick Murphy in his bid for the Democratic nomination and ultimately West's seat.