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Wednesday
Oct012014

NM Senate Candidate Stands by Controversial Campaign Video

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- New Mexico Republican Senate candidate Allen Weh says he didn’t intend to make national headlines with the release of a provocative web video that used a frame of video of American journalist James Foley’s killer -- a move his critics called “offensive.”

But now that he is in the spotlight, Weh told ABC News he has absolutely no regrets over his controversial entrance onto the national stage.

“I'm not a politically correct guy in a lot of ways, that's one thing,” Weh said. “This town may not be ready for me. I will call a spade a spade.”

Standing by the campaign video, Weh writes off the blowback he’s received as isolated “far left” critics, and points out that the Web video only showed an image of Foley’s killer and not some of the more graphic scenes.

“It didn't include the frame of the beheading, it included the frame of the killer,” said Weh. “The whole message was very simple: failed leadership in Washington. …[It had] nothing to do with that one particular jihadist.”

Weh, a retired Marine who has served in active duty three times, including in Vietnam and Iraq, is framing his military experience as an asset in a campaign that is considered an uphill battle against Democratic incumbent Sen. Tom Udall.

“I'm going to advocate for a strong American leadership in the world based on my experience,” he said.

“It's important when it comes to these issues, because I look at things with great deliberation. I'm going to be the last guy to vote to put our men and women in uniform in harm's way until it's absolutely necessary,” Weh said. "You’ve got to have a strategy, and you've got to have an end state. And when you have that, you turn it over, you select your plan to achieve that strategy and the goal, and you go for it.”

As President Obama weighs his options to counter the rise of ISIS, Weh has played up his democratic opponent’s connections to the commander-in-chief, arguing that the president’s approach to foreign policy has failed.

"He's let domestic politics drive his agenda,” Weh said of Obama. “You can't put your head in the sand, because the bad guys in the world aren't going to let us put our heads in the sand. That's part of the job I don't think he appreciated when he got elected. Well, he's getting a full dose of it now -- but he's got to man up to it.”

Though Weh has never held political office before, this is not his first foray into New Mexico politics.

He competed in the state’s 2010 gubernatorial race, but lost the Republican nomination to Susana Martinez, who went on to clinch the New Mexico governorship in the general election.

Now, Martinez’s name is being floated as a potential 2016 presidential contender.

Though Weh said he has since “mended fences” with Martinez, and that “she’s doing a great job” as governor, he declined to say whether he thinks she would make a good presidential candidate, should she run.

“Let me get elected, and then I'll come back on your show and we can talk about presidential politics -- but I'm staying away from that,” Weh said.


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