Virginia Republicans thank Soviet communists instead of U.S. Vets

Rachel Rose Hartman
The Ticket

It's hard to invite controversy by suggesting that U.S. troops deserve praise and thanks. But Virginia Republicans managed to do just that last week; an ad intended to attack Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring for his veterans' services record backfired badly when the central image in the mailing turned out to be a photograph of a former Soviet officer.

"Always thank a veteran . . . because Mark Herring won't!" the mailer exhorts readers. But the campaign message appears alongside an image of a soldier wearing Soviet military garb--including a medal featuring the trademark "CCCP" insignia of the Red Army, as a local GOP politics blog called Too Conservative noted.

Herring's Republican opponent Patricia Phillips confirmed to Yahoo News Monday morning that the mistake--caught by local blogs Friday--was indeed just that. She explained that her campaign has expressed "sincere regrets" and communicated its "sincere intent to honor veterans" of this country.

Virginia voters head to the polls Nov. 9 for this and other races. You can see the image for yourself below via Too Conservative and the liberal politics blog DailyKos:

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