Democrats spoke out sharply against a document created by the Republican National Committee that depicted President Obama as the comic book supervillain The Joker, a document the chairman of the RNC attempted to distance himself from, the Associated Press reported.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were also caricatured as Scooby-Doo and Cruella de Vil, respectively.
All depictions were featured on a document titled, “The Evil Empire,” a 72-page PowerPoint presentation created for potential donors to the GOP. The document, which was found by the Politico Web site, was discovered in a Florida hotel where Republicans had assembled on February 18.
Also found in the presentation was a sentence reading, “Save the country from trending toward Socialism,” a statement outlining how donors will be encouraged to give to Republicans at a time when they do not hold the White House or a majority in Congress.
“If you had any doubt whatsoever, that the Republican Party has been taken over by the fear-mongering lunatic fringe, those doubts were erased today,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse told the AP. “Republicans across the country have cheered on crowds where these very images appeared.”
According to spokesman Doug Heye, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was not in attendance at the presentation in Boca Grande, Fla., and had not been aware of the document.
“Fundraising documents are often controversial. Obviously, the chairman disagrees with the language and finds the use of such imagery to be unacceptable,” Heye said in a statement. “It will not be used by the Republican National Committee—in any capacity—in the future.”
Republican activist Raynard Jackson was outraged by the document.
“This is just beyond the pale,” Jackson said. “And the best we can get is Michael Steele issuing a statement through a spokesman? And they wonder why they can’t get minorities, especially Black people, involved in the party?”
Aides to the RNC said the document might hurt the committee because it suggested that its major donors may be “ego-driven” to give to the party.