- Associated Press - Thursday, October 7, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — National Republicans are pulling a West Virginia Senate ad that portrays the state’s residents as hicks.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee dropped the ad from its YouTube channel Thursday after Democrats released a copy of a casting call that sought actors with a “hicky blue collar” look.

The ad, filmed in Philadelphia, shows men in flannel shirts and baseball caps worrying that Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin will side with President Obama if elected to the Senate.

The GOP group blames the casting call on an outside producer. A party official familiar with the issue says Republicans also expect to pull the ad from TV stations, where it has been in heavy rotation for several days.

He requested anonymity because he was not directly involved in handling the ad.