In an unprecedented move, the White House has stepped into the Maryland Democratic Senate primary race over the use of the President’s image in a super PAC ad, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Working for Us PAC, a group supporting Rep. Donna Edwards, attacked her opponent Rep. Chris Van Hollen over his record on gun control in the ad. It features a clip of an emotional President Obama speaking about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
A representative for the White House called Obama’s inclusion in the ad “misleading.”
“On Tuesday, David Simas reached out to the Working for Us PAC and asked them to immediately take down the ad and stop using it going forward,” White House deputy press secretary Jen Friedman told The Washington Post. “He made clear that the use of the president’s image and statement in this context were misleading.”
The ad aimed to highlight a compromise Van Hollen made with the National Rifle Association during the fight for a 2010 bill intended to shed light on the corporations and donors behind certain campaign ads.
A spokesman for Working for Us told the newspaper that while the group stood by its message, it would remove the clip of Obama from the ad “out of respect for the White House and the work they’ve done on this important issue.”
Edwards’ campaign denied having been involved with the ad, but didn’t back down from knocking her opponent’s record on guns.
“We had nothing to do with the ad and would not have used the president’s image, but Donna would never have cut a deal with the NRA like Congressman Van Hollen did,” Edwards campaign spokesman Ben Gerdes told Politico.
This is not the first time the Maryland Senate primary race has made headlines. If elected, Edwards would be only the second black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, causing the race to replace Sen. Barbara Mikulski to spark a conversation about race in politics.
The Maryland Senate primary is April 26.
Watch below via Politico: