McCarthy puts Breitbart at arm's length after pic

Greg Nash

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday distanced himself from Breitbart News after the outlet combined an image of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with Miley Cyrus.

McCarthy's office asked Breitbart to remove an op-ed he wrote, after its website used artwork superimposing Pelosi's head on the body of the bikini-clad pop star.

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"We didn't condone them. We thought it was the right thing to do to ask for the column to be removed," Matt Sparks, a spokesman for McCarthy, told the Los Angeles Times.

Breitbart News and McCarthy's spokesman tweeted out a link to the op-ed titled "Re-imagining the Golden State" on Sunday, coinciding with the launch of the outlet's California bureau. Links to the article Tuesday morning led to an error message, after the post was removed.

The article highlighted a pattern of corruption charges leveled against state Democratic officials and asserted the Republican Party is on the rise in California.

"I look forward to the voice of reform-minded Californians being represented without bias as Breitbart California launches," McCarthy said in the article, according to a cached version of the webpage.

Democrats blasted the artwork Monday and urged Republicans to stop contributing to the site and call on the news outlet to remove the artwork.

“If GOP leaders are serious about their rebrand, then both their elected and party leadership should condemn this outrageous behavior, call on Breitbart News to immediately remove the ad, and not continue to use this website as a forum for their views,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said in a statement.

Later in the day, Pelosi called the image "tasteless" and "undignified."

In a post Monday, Breitbart News said there have been a number of instances in which Democrats have been silent when "conservative women have been maligned."