NRSC Admits Responsibility For ‘Hicky’ Casting Call, Fires Vendor

October 14, 2010 8:33 a.m.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is now admitting something they had previously denied: Their ad production company, Jamestown Associates, was directly responsible for the infamous casting call for “hicky” looking actors for an ad in the West Virginia Senate race.

The NRSC had previously denied responsibility for the casting call, pinning the blame on a subcontractor who handled the casting. But as Politico reported this morning, the casting agent Kathy Wickline has produced an e-mail from Jamestown Associates, containing that very language: “We are going for a ‘Hicky’ Blue Collar look. These characters are from West virginia so think coal miner/trucker looks.”

Now, as Greg Sargent reports, the NRSC is admitting that their vendor was responsible — and sacking them immediately — and that the NRSC’s previous statement to the contrary for the past week were “incorrect.”A statement from the NRSC to Sargent declared:

“This morning, the NRSC learned that our vendor Jamestown Associates was responsible for the offensive language surrounding our independent expenditure ad in West Virginia. When originally confronted last week, they flatly denied having anything to do with the unacceptable language and we took them at their word . Upon learning these facts this morning, the NRSC immediately fired Jamestown Associates.”

They also added:

“Because we did not know the truth, we have made incorrect statements over the last eight days, and we regret doing so. The NRSC unequivocally denounces the offensive language that Jamestown Associates used in producing this ad. We apologize to any West Virginia voter who may have been offended by this firm’s actions, and we extend our apologies to Kathy Wickline and all those who were misled as a result of Jamestown Associates’ actions. The NRSC will have no further dealings, now or ever, with Jamestown Associates, but they were our vendor and we take responsibility for this unfortunate matter.”

This flap has been a major fumble by the NRSC, throwing off their whole narrative in the race of being on the side of West Virginia’s voters, who widely disapprove of President Obama. It has now been the subject of a rebuttal ad from the Democratic nominee, Gov. Joe Manchin. Furthermore, it may have also played a role in recent poll movement towards Manchin.

The TPM Poll Average still has the Republican nominee, businessman John Raese, ahead by 48.4%-45.4%.

Again, here’s that ad:

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