Democratic lawmaker criticizes GOP's Kaepernick ad

Democratic Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuCities are the future: We need to coordinate their international diplomacy George Conway opposes #unfollowTrump movement Puerto Rico resignations spur constitutional crisis MORE (Calif.) on Thursday called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyI'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' Tlaib says she won't visit Israel after being treated like 'a criminal' MORE (R-Calif.) to “fire those who were responsible” for a GOP ad featuring activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

Lieu retweeted a post from the veterans advocacy group VoteVets that included a link to a Yahoo News story alleging Kaepernick's skin had been darkened in the ad. 

“Dear @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy: I served with you in the California legislature and now in Congress. I do not believe you are a racist,” Lieu tweeted Thursday. “If the below is true, then I hope you will fire those who were responsible.”

The ad, reportedly sent on Wednesday by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) — which serves to get Republicans elected to the House of Representatives — shows a photo of Kaepernick and includes a mug with the “Betsy Ross” flag, which has recently been the subject of controversy after Nike scrapped plans for its “Betsy Ross” flag-themed sneakers.

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“WHO DO YOU STAND WITH? DONALD TRUMP AND THE BETSY ROSS FLAG OR ANTI-AMERICAN FLAG COLIN KAEPERNICK?” the ad said, according to Yahoo News.

NRCC communications director Chris Pack told Yahoo News that “the photo was not darkened.”

Other groups, including VoteVets, have continued to rip the NRCC for the ad, tweeting Thursday that if the group intentionally darkened Kaepernick’s skin, “then forget apologies — they ought to be forced to explain to America why they believe darker skin makes someone look worse, in their eyes.”

“Any answer they could give would be un-American,” the group said.