Koch Group Pulls Attack Ad After Outrage Over Image From Aurora Aftermath

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Update: Americans For Prosperity said Wednesday afternoon that the photoshopped image would be removed from the ad.

The Koch brothers’-backed outside group Americans For Prosperity photoshopped a picture of President Barack Obama and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) during a visit to a Colorado hospital after the shooting massacre in Aurora for a campaign ad attacking Udall on Obamacare.

The cut-and-paste job was first reported by Buzzfeed‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro on Wednesday.

AFP, which has very aggressively hit a number of vulnerable Democrats on Obamacare throughout the 2014 cycle, took an image of Obama, Udall, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) at the hospital and used only the part of the image that included Obama and Udall in a slide in their new attack ad that attacked Udall on Obamacare. The resulting image (pictured above) shows Obama and Udall looking unhappy with text reading “Mark Udall Voted For Obamacare.” The hospital background was edited out of the image AFP used.

Here’s the original image, as taken by Saul Loeb for NPR (available on Getty Images):

In response to the ad, Udall’s campaign manager, Adam Dunstone, called for the senator from Colorado’s likely GOP opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, to call for the ad to be taken off the air.

“All Coloradans, regardless of political party, agree that using the Aurora tragedy in political attacks is callous, insensitive and wrong. Congressman Cory Gardner should do the right thing by demanding his friends and allies stop using the Aurora tragedy for political gain,” Dunstone said. “As someone who attended an Aurora memorial alongside Senator Udall, Gardner surely has the decency to publicly condemn the Koch brothers for this cynical ad.”

The families of the victims of the Aurora shooting also reportedly released a statement denouncing the ad, according to Denver Fox News affiliate anchor Eli Stokols.

Watch the AFP ad below:

This post was updated.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: