Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted a photo of Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley Friday evening in an attempt to promote a campaign attacking the Obama administration. Priebus deleted the photo almost an hour later.
The picture showed O’Malley, who has been touted as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, standing next to an elderly man in military uniform.
“We stand with our veterans,” a message typed on the photo said.
The tweet also included a message from Priebus and links to an online petition.
“Veterans took an oath to defend our freedom,” Priebus wrote. “Sign & Show them your steadfast support.”
The petition urged people to contact the White House and express concern about the ongoing scandal involving the Department of Veterans Affairs and its alleged mistreatment of former soldiers. Priebus and other Republicans have been increasingly focusing on the VA scandal and attempting to tie it to President Barack Obama.
Business Insider reached out to the RNC to ask why Priebus chose to use a photo of O’Malley and whether he did not recognise Gov. O’Malley, who is a staunch supporter of Obama. RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski responded via email.
“We salute the service of our veterans to our nation and the graphic used highlights that,” Kukowski said.
Kukowski did not respond to a subsequent request why the photo was deleted. A spokesperson for O’Malley also did not respond to a request for comment.
Preibus began receiving tweets asking why O’Malley was in the picture almost immediately after it was posted at 8:30 p.m. It was eventually deleted about 53 minutes later. As of this writing, Priebus has not posted any follow-up messages.
View a screengrab of the tweet below.
This post was updated at 9:34 p.m. to include Kukowski’s response.
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