The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has apologized after the group tweeted out a link to a photo featuring Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes' face superimposed onto the body of Amber Lee Ettinger, better known as "Obama Girl."
The image was posted on Bluegrass Bulletin, a blog focused on Kentucky politics for a few hours before it was removed. And the campaign political director for Sen. Mitch McConnell, who could face Grimes in the general election, retweeted the NRSC post from her own account.
The incident sparked significant blowback from people in Grimes' camp, who called the comparison a "sexual attack" and a "sexualized attack," according to Politico.
The NRSC should stand for Notoriously Repeating Sexist Comments – they
cannot relate or connect with the women of Kentucky or our country. The
incredibly inappropriate comments from Senator McConnell’s team mark a
developing pattern and demonstrate just how out of touch McConnell is
with the women of Kentucky. As I have said, I am proud to wear a dress,
and as Kentucky’s more than two million women know, it is not what is in
the dress that matters. It is what is in the head and I will stack my
head up against Senator McConnell’s any day.
Grimes had recently attended a fundraiser with first lady Michelle Obama. Following the photo's removal, Bluegrass Bulletin posted a comment explaining its deletion.
Via Bluegrass Bulletin:
A satirical photoshop image of Alison Lundergan Grimes as the famous "Obama Girl" which appeared here this morning has apparently caused quite a stir. It was intended to be a humorous punctuation mark to ALG being an intended beneficiary of Michele (sic) Obama's fundraising at a Washington DSCC event. I have removed it from this post voluntarily.
NRSC spokesperson Brook Hougesen told Politico that the tweet was "extremely offensive" and placed blame with a junior staffer. “We took corrective action as soon as it was brought to our attention and have taken steps to ensure it will never happen again.”