Democratic lawmaker criticizes GOP's Kaepernick ad

Democratic Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment House Democrat says he still gets told to 'go back' to China Ted Lieu: Trump a 'racist ass' MORE (Calif.) on Thursday called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week EU official in Canada says he feels 'at home' there because no one was shouting 'send him back' 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.