WASHINGTON -- Democrats are turning up the heat on Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), with a Democratic super PAC investing $1 million in ads dedicated to getting the outspoken conservative congressman out of office in November.
House Majority PAC released a biting new ad against West Thursday morning, attacking the congressman's record on women's rights and reminding voters that he once said progressive women were "neutering American men."
The spot begins airing Thursday in West Palm Beach and is part of the $1 million ad buy in the district.
From the ad's script:
What could be worse than Allen West's vote against affordable contraceptives? Or to eliminate cancer screening programs? Or to take away a woman's right to choose?
What's worse ... are the words he uses against them: All these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness -- to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient."
West made his "neutering" comments in April 2011, referring to women who are supporters of Planned Parenthood or members of the protest group Code Pink.
"There is no clearer example of how extreme, radical and out of touch Allen West is than the anti-women voting record he's compiled and the misogynistic manner in which he talks about women," said Alixandria Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC. "A belief system like Allen West's belongs in the history books, not in Congress."
In July 2011, West also had a high-profile dust-up with Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), telling her in an email that she was "vile" and "not a lady." He was upset at the fact that she criticized him -- without specifically naming him -- on the House floor.
A $1 million ad buy against West is significant considering his Democratic challenger, Patrick Murphy, has struggled to come close to the incumbent congressman in fundraising. The Tea Party-backed Republican raised $2.3 million for the quarter ending in June, compared to Murphy's $507,000.
Murphy, however, is beginning to pull in big Democratic support, and he's statistically tied with West in a recent poll. Former President Bill Clinton headlined a fundraiser for Murphy, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's independent expenditure just launched a $250,000 ad buy against West.
In early August, an ad targeting West and launched by the American Sunrise PAC, showed a cartoon version of the congressman punching out an elderly woman in a boxing ring as a narrator says West "socked it to seniors" by pushing to get rid of Medicare. The progressive blog ThinkProgress called the "racial undertones" of the ad "troubling," adding that it distracted from the legitimate debate over West's record in Congress.
West and Murphy, a 29-year-old businessman, are competing for a newly drawn district that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. West currently represents Florida's 22nd District, but when 2010 redistricting left that district more Democrat-heavy, West moved to Florida's 18th District. Murphy followed him there to run against him.