The casting call for the new National Republican Senatorial Committee TV ad in West Virginia advertised for actors with a “‘Hicky’ Blue Collar look,” according to Politico
The NRSC did not write the casting call, which was handled by an outside talent agency. “No one at the NRSC, or associated with the NRSC, had anything to do with the language used in this casting call,” NRSC communications director Brian Walsh told CNN. “We do not support it [the casting call language], and suffice to say, we would encourage our contractors to never work with this outside agency again.”
Republican ad firm Jamestown Consulting* had originally requested “2 featured characters that will be talking to each other at a diner, conversation back and forth. … One male- Age about 55.- Looking for someone to represent the middle of the country… Ohio, Pittsburgh, West Virginia area- Middle class … One male- Age about 45- Middle class- Again, should represent the Ohio, Pittsburgh, West Virginia area of the country,” according to an e-mail given to Politico.
The ad shows three men sitting in a diner, dressed in plaid shirts and baseball caps, casually discussing how they are afraid that “Washington Joe [Manchin]” would behave differently than “West Virginia Joe.”
Democrat candidate Gov. Joe Manchin was outraged by the ad. “John Raese and his special interest friends have insulted the people of West Virginia and need to immediately apologize,” he said in a statement. “Not only have they been spending millions to try and buy this election with lies and distortions, we can now see once and for all what he and his friends really think of West Virginia and our people.”
Raese campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin told Battle ‘10 that “The ad is ridiculous and I am happy to say that no one with the Raese campaign had anything to do with it. As a matter of fact, we asked that it be taken down long before it went public. But this campaign isn’t about TV ads, it’s about the 7,169 West Virginia seniors who are losing their health coverage because of Obamacare that Joe Manchin rubber stamped.”
The National Journal is reporting that the NRSC plans to pull the ad off the air.
*In the original version of this post, I had said that the NRSC, not Jamestown Consulting, had written that description. I apologize for the error.