GOP Senate candidate yanks video showing smoldering 9/11 site
This one is ugly.
GOP Senate candidate Roy Blunt's campaign has pulled down a Web video displaying the smoldering remains of the 9/11 attacks alongside audio of his Democratic opponent saying the location of the Islamic center should be up to New Yorkers to decide.
And now the Dem, Robin Carnahan, is going on the offensive over the issue, demanding that Blunt apologize to the families of 9/11 victims for exploiting the tragedy for political gain.
The Carnahan campaign claims it pulled the video off of Blunt's campaign Web site late yesterday, and a local blogger has now put the video on You Tube.
As you can see, the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center are the only visual in the video, and it dwells on that image for 20 seconds.
The Blunt campaign yanked the video, and Blunt says he wasn't aware it had been posted. But Carnahan is making it an issue in the Missouri Senate race, demanding an apology:
"Congressman Blunt should immediately own up to what he did, take responsibility for it, and apologize to the families of the 9-11 victims, whose tragedy he exploited for his own personal political benefit."
This illustrates that the searing national battle over the Islamic center also carries perils for Republicans. It tempts them to crassly politicize the tragedy in ways that -- with the 9/11 wound now reopened -- risk searing them, too. More when I know it.
UPDATE, 1:02 p.m.: Interestingly, even though the Blunt campaign has yanked the video showing the 9/11 wreckage, the audio of Carnahan talking about Cordoba House is still front and center on Blunt's Web site.
UPDATE, 2:05 p.m.: Blunt spokesman Rich Chrismer sends over a response blaming an unnamed staffer and acknowledging that it "did not reflect the right tone":
Regarding the audio clip of Robin Carnahan, someone got carried away. It was up overnight and quickly replaced. It did not reflect the right tone and was quickly replaced with an image of Robin Carnahan and Barack Obama. Roy Blunt opposes the Ground Zero mosque and Robin Carnahan has rubberstamped Barack Obama again by refusing to oppose it.