Top Virginia Republicans are soundly disparaging a Halloween email sent by the Loudoun County Republican committee that takes the iconic Shepard Fairey image of President Obama, depicting him as a zombie with a bullet hole through his head.
Both the Republican Party of Virginia and Gov. Bob McDonnell were quick to condemn the email.
"The Governor believes this email is shameful and offensive," said spokesman Tucker Martin in an email, adding that Mr. McDonnell called on those involved to apologize for their actions and to ensure that such imagery is never used again.
The email "offends all Virginians and discredits our entire political process," he said. "It will not be tolerated."
Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins said the "disgusting image … has no place in our politics. Ever."
"The Republican Party of Virginia condemns the image and its use in the strongest possible terms. We are in the process of contacting those responsible for the image to demand that they cease using it and immediately issue an apology."
The email, which contains a similarly distorted image of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and portrays Obama supporters as zombies, publicizes Republican events at Loudoun's Halloween parade. It was first reported by the blog Too Conservative.
In response, Mark Sell, chairman of the Loudoun County Republican committee, released the following statement late Monday afternoon calling the image 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. 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."
But state Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., James City Republican, said that "even if intended to be humor, there is no place and no excuse for the dissemination of images depicting violence against our leaders."
"I denounce this image and call on those responsible to do the honorable thing and take full responsibility for their actions," he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.