Democratic lawmaker criticizes GOP's Kaepernick ad

Democratic Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuOvernight Defense: Mattis downplays Afghanistan papers | 'We probably weren't that good at' nation building | Judiciary panel approves two impeachment articles | Stage set for House vote next week Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote Ted Lieu undergoes surgery following chest pain MORE (Calif.) on Thursday called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP lawmakers jockey for positions as managers On The Money: Trump, China announce 'Phase One' trade deal | Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records | House panel schedules hearing, vote on new NAFTA deal House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.