The Tea Party Patriots, a limited-government advocacy group, sent a mass email Tuesday that included an image of Republican strategist Karl Rove dressed as a Nazi SS officer.
And now the group says it was all a terrible mistake.
“We did not know about or approve a manufactured image added to a recent email from the Tea Party Patriots. It was added by an outside vendor. The image was inappropriate and we have ordered the vendor to immediately cease further use of the image,” co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement.
The group said it had requested a specific image of Rove thumbing his nose, but that the third party vendor mistakenly used the Nazi image from an online slideshow:
“Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove’s Face,” reads the subject line of the original email.
“Karl Rove believes he can raise hundreds of millions of dollars, crush the Tea Party movement and protect the big-government status quo in Washington from millions of freedom loving Americans,” the email adds. “Well, he’s wrong.”
The email vendor, Active Engagement, said it takes full responsibility for the mistake.
“It was a mistake that we made. It was not a mistake that went through Tea Party Patriots,” J.D. Norman, a partner at Active Engagement, told POLITCO, adding that his firm handles “tens of millions of emails over the course of a month or so for each independent client.”
“Obviously, it was the worst picture that could have been mistakenly put in that email. Beyond that it’s just a human error,” he adds. “We’re trying to look into how it happened to prevent it in the future.”
Here is the official statement from the Tea Party Patriots:
Earlier today, an e-mail under the Tea Party Patriots banner included a photo-shopped image of Karl Rove in a Nazi uniform. This image was not approved by Tea Party Patriots, and the e-mail approved by Tea Party Patriots did not include the image.
Tea Party Patriots has expressed an apology to Mr. Rove for this unacceptable imagery, and is implementing stricter controls to ensure such an error does not happen again.
We apologize to Mr. Rove. While we may have strong disagreements with Mr. Rove on the future of conservatism, we want to be clear this imagery is absolutely unacceptable and are working to ensure this type of mistake doesn’t happen again.
And here’s the statement from Active Engagement:
An email that was sent earlier today under the banner of Tea Party Patriots included an offensive image of Karl Rove.
The image was obviously a photo shopped image of Mr. Rove, a well-known political figure. The image was selected in error from an extensive group of images available publicly online and was adjacent to the image that Tea Party Patriots approved for use.
The email that included the image was not approved by Tea Party Patriots. Active Engagement, L.L.C. takes full responsibility for this error and is attempting to contact everyone who received the image to explain the error. More importantly, Active Engagement, L.L.C. apologizes to Mr. Rove for this mistake. Active Engagement, L.L.C. does not believe there is any place in political discourse for images such as these.
UPDATE — In a brief statement to The Daily Caller, Karl Rove responded to the TPP’s apology: “Apology accepted. Now let’s all get back to work building conservative Republican majorities and stop President Obama’s agenda.”
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Featured image Google images. This post and headline have been updated for clarity.