There has been no shortage of hostility in Massachusetts as Republican Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez looks to defeat Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in next month's special election. Tensions continued to flare on Thursday, when Gomez responded to an attack ad from Markey, calling him "pond scum" for running a spot that included images of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“You know I’ve got four young kids, and they gotta sit there and gotta see an ad with their dad who served honorably --talk to anybody I served with, whether as a pilot or as a SEAL, anybody I worked with,” Gomez told reporters. “And for him to be as dirty and low, pond scum, like to put me up next to bin Laden, he’s just gotta be called what he is. That simple.”
(Watch video of Gomez's comments above)
The Markey spot in question, a web video, displayed an image of bin Laden in noting Gomez's involvement in a group that attempted to prevent President Barack Obama from benefiting politically from the successful mission to kill the terrorist leader. A television ad, meanwhile, hit Gomez on gun control, saying that he is “against banning high-capacity magazines like the ones used in the Newtown school shooting.”
In response, the Gomez campaign released an ad this week blasting "dirty Ed Markey" and his attacks. The spot suggested that Markey had directly blamed Gomez for the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and compared him to bin Laden, but FactCheck.org has debunked those claims as overblown.
Gomez and Markey are running to fill the Senate seat vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry. Recent rounds of polling have shown Markey with a lead over Gomez, though many expect the race to be competitive until the final stretch. The special election is scheduled for June 25.
UPDATE: 10:15 a.m. -- Markey spokesman Andrew Zucker responded to Gomez, calling his attack a "new low."
"After spending the past week leveling completely baseless attacks against Ed Markey that were thoroughly debunked by Massachusetts newspapers and nonpartisan fact checkers, Gabriel Gomez has reached a new low," said Zucker. "Unfortunately for Gomez, his desperate attack will do nothing to distract from his opposition to an assault weapons ban and limits on high-capacity magazines, or his refusal to release his 2005 tax return that would reveal how much he pocketed from taking a questionable $280,000 tax break on his Cohasset home."
Clarification: The Markey campaign's spot featuring Gomez and bin Laden was a web video not for broadcast.