Candidates for Florida’s 18th Congressional District squared off for a heated debate Friday night. While the debate featured Rep. Allen West (R) and Patrick Murphy (D) clashing over many issues, the one that received the most sparks was the race’s negative campaigning. In August, a PAC owned by Murphy’s father created an anti-Allen West ad showing him beating women and smiling with a gold tooth.
While West said that outside ads and money is protected by the Supreme Court Citizens United case, he did reference the millions of dollars George Soros has pledged to defeat him and that Murphy’s father created a PAC exclusively to attack him. In referencing the ad, West said sarcastically, “That was pretty neat. You know, I don’t have a gold tooth, as you can see. And I don’t like punching women.”
Murphy was later questioned on the “nastiness” of the campaign and responded, “With my campaign, all of our ads are accurate.”
West responded, “Me punching women is accurate?”
Murphy pivoted away from the issue, insisting that the beating women ad did not originate from his campaign.
Watch the testy exchange here: