GOP Candidate Features Clip of ISIS Execution Video in Controversial Ad
With the Nov. 4 election rapidly approaching, candidates across the country are in the final stretch of campaigns that are increasingly going negative and raising the bar for controversy.
Retired Air Force pilot Wendy Rogers, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona's 9 th Congressional District, is using part of an ISIS execution video in a new political advertisement to attack her opponent's national security record.
The ad begins with a clip featuring a member of the Islamic State holding a knife as he stands over American journalist James Foley kneeling in the desert sun, moments before he is beheaded.
While a handful of campaigns have invoked Foley's grisly execution since the journalist was killed in August, Rogers' take is arguably the most provocative.
"Terrorist threats are growing. Are we secure? Are we protected?" the narrator asks as several ominous clips play out on screen. "Keeping us safe and secure is Congress' job. Kyrsten Sinema hasn't done her job."
The ad then cites two votes the freshman Democrat has cast in the 113 th Congress, attacking her for voting "to give terrorists full legal rights under the Constitution" and supporting a measure "to allow Guantanamo terrorists to return to their countries."
Sinema declined to comment and referred inquiries to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which called on Rogers to take down the ad.
"It is reprehensible and unbecoming of anyone seeking elected office to use the footage of an American tragedy for political gain, and Wendy Rogers should remove this ad immediately and apologize to Mr. Foley's family," Tyrone Gayle, Western Regional Press Secretary at the DCCC, wrote in an email. "For Wendy Rogers to use such a reprehensible tactic to make baseless claims just to smear Representative Sinema proves how desperate her campaign has become."
Sinema appears to be gaining ground on Rogers, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, in one of the most closely-watched races of the election cycle. ABC News currently rates the race as "Likely Democrat."