POLITICS
10/29/2012 05:38 pm ET

Allen West Tracker Called Out At Veterans Event, Asked To Leave By Congressman

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) interrupted his speech at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial Saturday to ask that a tracker leave the event.

He stopped his speech, which was about his relatives who served during wartime.

"Let me stop for one moment," West said. "There's a person here who has been tracking me around, and she is here for political purposes. And, young lady, I ask that you leave. Because you are disrespectful to the men and women who have given themselves to this great nation. We do not need, we do not care for what you are presenting here. So if you have any amount of respect within you, I ask that you leave right now, turn off that camera and stop using this for political purposes."

The audience applauded, and the tracker then left the event.

West is locked in a tight reelection race against Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.

The tracker's account shows numerous instances of her being asked to leave from his events.

"Congressman West was speaking at a ceremony honoring brave Americans killed in Vietnam," said West spokesman Tim Edson. "Patrick Murphy and his friends should be ashamed of themselves for sending a tracker to a memorial ceremony. It's truly disgraceful, but not really a surprise. Patrick Murphy and his allies have already demonstrated they have no respect for military service."

Patrick Murphy's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

Tracking is a crucial tool for opposition research in the age of YouTube to catch candidates in unguarded moments. It can even be pivotal, as in 2006 when then-Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) called an Indian-American tracker "macaca" in a video that contributed to the unsuccessful end of his campaign. (He is currently running again for the Senate seat.)

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