Democratic congressional candidate Pam Keith is releasing a new ad hitting President Donald Trump over multiple reports he called American soldiers “losers” and “suckers.”
The Atlantic first reported on those remarks and many other disparaging comments Trump made about American service members, including those killed in action. Many, though not all, details in the Atlantic’s report were later confirmed by the Associated Press, Fox News and other outlets.
Keith, a former Navy JAG officer running in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, is now incorporating those reports into a new 30-second TV ad. Keith is running for the seat held by Republican Rep. Brian Mast.
“Soldiers don’t fight out of hate for those before them, but out of love for those behind them,” Keith says to begin the ad.
“Every President has respected that sacrifice, except Donald Trump. He thinks our fallen heroes are ‘losers’ or ‘suckers.’ No wonder he took no action when Russia put bounties on their heads. I’m former Lieutenant Commander Pam Keith, and I approve this message because it was my honor to serve the country I cherish, and I will defend the honor of our troops when Trump demeans them, even if Brian Mast won’t.”
Mast has previously addressed the President’s reported remarks by downplaying their veracity, despite multiple media outlets issuing additional reporting on the story.
“I could not tell you what went on in France because I wasn’t there and the so-called report was entirely based on anonymous accusations,” Mast said.
“What I know is, on a personal level, every time I have seen the President, he has looked me in the eye and sincerely thanked me for my service and what that service took from me. He has fought to improve care for veterans, put an end to endless wars and support our troops, and I believe those actions speak louder than any anonymous accusations, especially those made in the middle of a tightly-contested political campaign.”
Mast added that veterans are “extremely deserving of our nation’s heartfelt gratitude.”
In response to Keith’s ad, Brad Stewart, a Mast campaign spokesperson, reiterated criticism of Keith’s many abrasive social media posts targeting Republicans.
“Pam Keith has called all Republicans ‘racist,’ ‘stupid’ and ‘white supremacist.’ She has attacked American law enforcement comparing them to the Gestapo,” Stewart said.
“She is throwing stones at a glass house based on entirely anonymous accusations. In fact, her entire campaign is built on demonizing half of the electorate that she says are on the other ‘team.’ She may see everybody in terms of red or blue, but Congressman Mast remains focused on what he can do to uplift the red, white and blue.”
On the Russia bounties point, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he warned Russia against taking such actions after reports of the bounties surfaced. The President has said he didn’t raise the issue directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Keith’s team says the ad will begin running Saturday and is part of a six-figure buy.
Keith is seeking the seat after losing the Democratic nod in 2018. Mast defeated his Democratic opponent that year by 8 percentage points.
The district covers parts of northern Palm Beach County — including West Palm Beach — and extends into Martin and St. Lucie counties. As of July 29, Mast holds more than $1.81 million in cash on hand as opposed to just $101,000 for Keith.