9/11 hijackers 'debut' in GOP attack ad
Published: Monday March 30, 2009

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The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have often been paraded out for political advertising -- even some seven years after the actual events. But the latest attack ad from the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee takes the typical 9/11-attack ad one step further.

It displays the faces of eighteen 9/11 hijackers, along with Osama Bin Laden.

The ad attempts to pin the "terrorist supporter" lapel to Democrat Scott Murphy, who's running in a special election to replace the successor to Sen. Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). It highlights a radio interview in which Murphy said he wouldn't support the death penalty even for the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The Republicans' campaign committee continues to wholeheartedly endorse the ad.

�This is one of the few questions Scott Murphy has been willing to answer during this campaign, so he should be willing to explain how he came to such a dangerously out-of-touch position,� Paul Lindsay, an NRCC spokesman, told The Hill on Friday. �By opposing the death penalty for the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks, it is abundantly clear that Murphy is unable or unwilling to empathize with the loss so many New York families faced on that tragic day.�

The Republican running against Murphy, however, sought to distance himself from the ad. Somewhat strangely, he referred to the NRCC as part of "the Washington groups," even though it's the official fundraising arm for House Republicans.

"Jim can't control what the Washington groups do with these ads," said Republican Jim Tedisco's spokesman Adam Kramer. "Jim is staying focused on his positive message of fighting for Main Street jobs and against the AIG-style greed on Wall Street and waste in Washington."

In the ad (which appears below), New York Post Albany reporter Fred Dicker asks Murphy about his opposition to the death penalty.

"So if the terrorists who say destroyed the World Trade Center in the 9/11 attack had been captured, you don't think they should have faced the death penalty even though they killed some 3,000 people?" Dicker asks.

"Yeah, I mean, as I say it's a tough issue," Murphy replies. "We so often deal with cases where the evidence may not be totally conclusive and we can't prove beyond any shadow of a doubt... it's so much more costly than putting someone away, it's a big expense."

"So you're against the death penalty for terrorists?" Dicker continues.

"Yeah," Murphy says.

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