Tea Party Patriots says Rove-as-Nazi email was a "mistake"

The group apologized to Karl Rove for an "absolutely unacceptable" picture that showed him wearing an SS uniform

By Jillian Rayfield

Published February 19, 2013 9:37PM (EST)

The Tea Party Patriots have apologized for an "unacceptable" and "inappropriate" picture attached to a fundraising email that depicted Karl Rove wearing a Nazi uniform. “We apologize to Mr. Rove. While we may have strong disagreements with him 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," said Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of the group.

In a statement, Martin said that the image was added to an email "sent under the banner of Tea Party Patriots," but the group "did not know about or approve" of the image. It was added by Active Engagement, an outside vendor, according to the statement. Active Engagement reiterated in its own apology statement that the group selected the picture in error, and that "The email that included the image was not approved by Tea Party Patriots."

"We are fighting the big-government Republicans and the leftist Obama Democrats every single day," the initial TPP email, called "Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove's Face," said. "And they hate it. And they hate us! That's why professional political cronies like Karl Rove are attacking the Tea Party movement. They see people like you and me as a serious nuisance, and they will do everything they can to crush us."

According to Politico, "The lower left-hand corner of the photo features the inscriptions “Reichsführer-SS” and “K. Rove,” and appears to match a photo of SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler." You can see the picture and read the full email here.

The Tea Party Patriots have been publicly trading shots with Rove over a new initiative by his super PAC, American Crossroads, to boost establishment Republican candidates in the primaries and prevent far-right conservatives from getting through to the general election. Recently, TPP launched a super PAC and began aligning itself with Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who may run for Senate in Iowa in 2014, and is an express target of the Crossroads fund.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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American Crossroads Conservative Victory Project Conservatives Karl Rove Tea Party Patriots