STUART, Fla. - A new political advertisement that made its debut Friday night is causing controversy in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives seat District 18.
Current congressman Allen West called the ad disgusting, racially insensitive and degrading to women.
The ad shows a caricature of West punching female seniors who happen to be white and shows him taking money from a family. It is an apparent shot at West's record on Medicare, women's health and tax cuts.
"I think me punching elderly and women appeared and in the face and stealing money from families is quite over the top," said West.
When shown the video on Friday, voters had mixed reactions.
"That's like him saying he doesn't like white people. To me," said Tami Marzahl, a Wellington resident. "That's what I take away from it. If I were to see that on T.V. I would go he's totally racist."
Others said they did not see the racial undertones and thought the advertisement seemed normal for an attack ad.
"I think what I capture out of it is just that he's taking a shot at elderly people," said Ted Ford, a Stuart resident. "I'm not seeing the racial piece of that."
The ad was paid for by political action committee "American Sunrise PAC," not Democratic congressional candidate Patrick Murphy.
FEC fillings indicate Murphy's father, Thomas Murphy, has donated $250,000 to the PAC.
"It would be very difficult to believe that his father is actually orchestrating this ad and that Mr. Murphy or Patrick doesn't know anything about it," said Florida Representative William Snyder, R-Stuart.
Candidate Patrick Murphy did not want to comment on camera but sent a statement that read in part:
"The Murphy campaign had nothing to do with the content or creation of this ad," read the statement. "His (Allen West) anti-senior and anti-woman record is clear."
It is a point West denies and did so as he made his rounds on national cable news denouncing the advertisement.
West could face Murphy in November but both face challengers in the primary.