Today, in an e-mail to supporters, Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign blasted Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe over an offensive Tweet from the pro-McAuliffe Twitter account @Terry4Gov, a self-described “unaffiliated grassroots group.”
The Tweet accuses Cuccinelli of voting against a bill that would ban guns and missiles in airports and contains an image of a bearded, tan-skinned man wielding what appears to be a missile launcher. The official Terry McAuliffe Twitter account echoed the attack Thursday morning, tweeting out a mock Transportation Safety Administration sign displaying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
The Cuccinelli campaign’s e-mail came from Siddique Sheikh, a grassroots supporter and the founder and chairman of the Pakistani American Business Association and the Pakistan American University Group. Sheikh called the Tweet “deeply offensive” and an attempt to distort Cuccinelli’s record, and labeled the imagery “absolutely deplorable.”
“I am tired of people thinking it’s okay to lump all Americans from the Middle East or South Asia with evil terrorists who are the lowest form of human beings,” Sheikh wrote. He also accused the McAuliffe campaign of foul play.
“I expected Terry McAuliffe’s campaign to do the right thing and tell the group to apologize for their message, but instead, they stood by it. Yesterday they sent out an email that made clear their campaign was likely behind or aware of the original message, or coordinating with the group,” Sheikh said.
He closed out the email by calling for McAuliffe to apologize and by linking to a petition page on the Cuccinelli campaign website where signers can “Tell Terry McAuliffe that the stereotyping and disgusting attacks are unacceptable.”