Avatar Ad "Outrageous Offense to John McCain"
A fundraising appeal posted on former Congressman J.D. Hayworth's Hayworth's campaign website today was the latest salvo in the increasingly contentious Republican Senate primary battle in Arizona between Hayworth and Senator John McCain.
(J.D. Hayworth Campaign)
The ad, which also appeared as the lead banner on the Drudge Report, depicts McCain in blue warpaint, in an apparent nod to Oscar-nominated film "Avatar."
Adjacent to the photo, McCain is mocked as "Nominee for Best Conservative Actor." Hayworth, running from McCain's right, has condemned the longtime senator as a "Republican in Name Only."
Questioning the conservative credentials of Republican candidates has been a popular pastime this election season -- the most memorable instance perhaps being California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" commercial, which referred to her opponent Tom Campbell as a "fiscal conservative in name only."
The image of McCain-as-Avatar-character spread across the blogosphere today as the McCain camp offered an angry response.
McCain campaign manager Shiree Verdone told the Arizona Republic, "Ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth should immediately apologize and take down his latest online ad, which is an outrageous offense to John McCain's lifetime of honorable service to our state and nation, and insulting to Native Americans here in Arizona and across America."
"Ads like this have no place in the Republican primary, and J.D. Hayworth should immediately take it down and apologize," added Senate Minority Whip and strong McCain ally Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) in a statement released by the McCain campaign.
Representatives with the Hayworth campaign declined to apologize, though they did modify the ad. It was an apparent effort to make McCain look more explicitly like a character from "Avatar" in response to the complaints that the first version, shown above, insulted Native Americans.
Hayworth spokesman Jason Rose told the Republic that McCain should "get a sense of humor. After all, if Sunday's show did have an award for best election year flip-flopping and transparent conservative conversion, the incumbent would surely win the Oscar."
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