Top Republicans in Virginia are strongly condemning a Halloween-themed graphic circulated by a local GOP committee Monday that depicted President Obama as a zombie with a gunshot wound to his head.
The graphic was featured in a mass email sent to supporters by the Loudoun County Republican Committee inviting them to a Halloween party. The image, featured on the email header, included photos of a disfigured House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and a throng of flesh-hungry zombie Obama supporters.
The image of Obama, which features a large bloody gunshot wound above his right eye, was first reported Monday by Too Conservative, a right-leading Virginia political blog that accused Loudoun County Republicans of going "WAY too far."
Other top Republicans in the state quickly agreed.
"The disgusting image used today on a mass email has no place in our politics," Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said in a statement to reporters, per the Washington Post's Anita Kumar. The party, he said, "condemns the image and its use in the strongest possible terms."
Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, through a spokesman, called the graphic "shameful and offensive" and called on the committee to apologize.
"The governor has long stressed the need for more civility and respect in our politics," McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. "An e-mail like this one undermines those goals, offends all Virginians and discredits our entire political process. It will not be tolerated."
Loudoun County GOP chairman Mark Sell said in an email to the Associated Press's Bob Lewis that the graphic was a "light-hearted attempt to inject satire humor into the Halloween holiday.
"Apparently, some individuals have interpreted an image of Barack Obama that appeared within the email as intending to portray the President as a victim of a violent crime," Sell wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth, and we deeply and sincerely apologize to the President and anyone who viewed the image if that was the impression that was left."
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