Jeb Bush speaks in Londonderry, N.H., last week. (Photo: Jim Cole/AP)
Thousands of Iowans checking their mailboxes late last week were greeted by a photo of a smiling Jeb Bush on the back of a flier touting the former Florida governor and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful’s conservative bona fides.
— R2R USA (@r2rusa)
But the mailer — paid for by the super-PAC Right to Rise and sent to about 86,000 Iowa households — morphed into a momentary viral distraction for the campaign as online observers quickly pointed out that Bush’s left hand appeared to be black.
“Jeb Bush has a photoshopped photo for an ad which gives him a black left hand and much different looking body,“ Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, tweeted. “Jeb just can’t get it right!”
Jeb Bush has a photoshopped photo for an ad which gives him a black left hand and much different looking body. Jeb just can’t get it right!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
On Saturday, Right to Rise spokesman Paul Lindsay explained that in the original photo, a woman standing next to Bush cast a dark shadow on his hand. The super-PAC’s not-so-super art department then superimposed the image of Bush on a stock Cedar Rapids backdrop.
“Mysterious hand revealed,” Lindsay tweeted. “Fail.”
Mysterious hand revealed. Meant to use Valencia. Fail. Not deleting it from our servers. pic.twitter.com/sczIMf1REx
— Paul Lindsay (@Paul_Lindsay)
Still, Lindsay added, "Not deleting it from our servers.”
The super-PAC, which has already raised over $100 million this cycle, said it sent a different mailer to more than 150,000 New Hampshire households without incident.
The Bush campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though it likely has bigger issues to deal with. According to a CNN/ORC poll released earlier this month, Bush trails Trump by 17 points among likely Iowa caucus-goers. According to the survey, Bush, with just 5 percent support, is tied for sixth behind Trump (22 percent), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (14 percent), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (9 percent), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (8 percent), ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (7 percent) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (7 percent).
And a recent Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll showed Trump with a six-point lead (19 percent to 13 percent) over Bush in New Hampshire.