Freshman House Republican Allen West has a new ad highlighting his service as a lieutenant colonel in the Army--and his Democratic opponent's 2003 arrest at a South Florida night club. "Two men, a country in crisis," the ad's voiceover says. "You decide." Watch the 30-second ad below:

Roll Call has more on the ad:

The ad uses a military-operations motif, with action-movie-like graphics and sound effects over zoomed-in satellite photos. A male narrator sets the scene over pictures of West in his Army uniform: “Fort Hood, Texas: Lt. Col. Allen West had just received deployment orders and prepares his men to go to war.”

The Murphy campaign hit back hard.

“Allen West is now opening up what his military record was in 2003,” said Eric Johnson, a senior adviser to Murphy’s campaign. “In 2003, he was criminally charged by the military with assault and for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice and was subsequently kicked out of the military. I find it odd that he’s trying to brag about that particular year of service. And he’s attacking Patrick Murphy for drinking as a teenager, which I think is a silly attack.”

West actually resigned from the military with full benefits after an Article 15 proceeding in which he was fined for his conduct with an Iraqi prisoner, which included firing a gun near the prisoner’s head.

The West campaign said the ad was backed by a significant buy on cable and broadcast television in the West Palm Beach media market for the next week.

An internal poll from the West campaign shows the Florida Republican ahead of Murphy, 52 percent to 41 percent.
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