A conservative ad campaign that featured James Foley, the New Hampshire journalist slain by ISIS, moments before his execution, will be pulled, the group responsible for the ad said.
Secure America Now President Allen Roth said in a statement that his group didn't intend to upset Foley's family with the ad attacking Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and that they "apologize for any pain we inadvertently caused.“
“It has been brought to our attention that a news report image of American hostage James Foley that appeared in a Secure America Now video has upset his parents, so we have decided to take the video down," the statement continued. “The purpose of the video was to draw attention to Washington’s failure to secure our borders from real threats by terrorists. That remains our objective and we will continue to engage in this public debate.”
Foley, a Rochester native, was beheaded by Islamic State militants in August, nearly two years after he was kidnapped in Syria. His parents say the ad was "deplorable" and told NECN in an emotional interview that they were demanding that the ad be pulled from New Hampshire.
Secure America Now used the image in a 15-second Internet ad attacking Shaheen, who is locked in a tight race against Republican Scott Brown, and other Democratic incumbents in critical Senate races nationwide.
"It makes me very sad that people would use the brutality of our son's death for their own political purposes," Mrs. Foley said.
Shaheen issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon condemning the ad.
"This is a disgraceful ad that dishonors the memory of a respected journalist and New Hampshire native," she said. "It hurts all who loved and knew Jim, and the people behind this ad owe the Foley family and apology."
According to Elizabeth Guyton, communications director for Scott Brown, Brown said, "This is completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the Foley family.”
Roth says the group did not contact the Foley family before making the ad public.
Secure America Now emphasized that the Foley execution video and the image have been used in other campaigns across the country several different times.