STUART — Conservative black U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, says an ad that depicts him punching white women plays on racial stereotypes and would make liberals “apoplectic” if a Republican ran it against a black Democrat.
While Sarah Palin and Herman Cain joined the West campaign in ratcheting up criticism of the ad on Friday, an NAACP official said he didn’t find the 30-second spot to be racially offensive. And the campaign of West’s main Democratic rival defended the ad’s content while denying any involvement in its creation.
The controversy centers on an ad by American Sunrise, a PAC that is largely financed by the father of Democratic congressional candidate Patrick Murphy. The ad blasts West’s stances on seniors, women’s health and tax issues by showing a cartoonish likeness of West in boxing gloves slugging an elderly woman and a younger woman who are white and punching a black family and grabbing the family’s cash.
“Think if the Republican Party or some conservative PAC ran a picture of a black Democrat politician or congressman punching white women and white seniors. I’m sure that MSNBC, NBC and the Huffington Post and everyone would be going apoplectic right now,” West said on Fox News.
West, one of only two black Republicans in Congress, said “different rules” apply to black conservatives.
“You know, where’s the outrage from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and the NAACP about this? They’re not going to say anything because they’re nothing but an effective wing of the Democrat Party whatsoever and they have effectively kept them well placed so that they can continue to have a black electorate voting bloc,” West said.
NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary O. Shelton, the organization’s chief federal lobbyist, said he watched the ad three or four times.
“It is a typical campaign ad,” said Shelton. “I don’t see it playing on stereotypes.”