The Republican National Committee may have thought it was dogging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by satirizing him as cartoon character Scooby Doo, but Reid is getting scrappy with the portrayal in his own fundraising appeal.
Reid, who was caricatured as Scooby Doo in a recent controversial Republican pitch to top fundraisers, wrote that he thought the comparison to the cowardly, but lovable Great Dane was Scooberrific.
"It's been a long time since I watched cartoons with my kids, but I recall Scooby Doo as a pretty good character," Reid said in a fundraising e-mail asking for donations of up to $50. "He solved mysteries and caught the bad guys, pretty impressive -- especially for a dog."
Reid's embrace of Scooby Doo should probably come as no surprise since the Nevada Democrat is the underdog in his re-election bid in which he is trailing three GOP opponents in opinion polls. So far, he will need a Scooby Doo-like ending to overcome the odds.
In the fundraising e-mail, Reid notes that he is a top target for Republicans in the midterm elections.
"Surprised? Me neither," Reid wrote. "National Republicans are coming after me with everything they've got, and I need you on my side of fight back."
The caricatures were tucked into a 72-page Power Point presentation to GOP fundraisers in Boca Raton, Fla., last month in what was a direct call to use fear and reactionary sentiments toward Democrats as a fundraising strategy.
"What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House or the Senate…?" one slide asks.
"Save the country from tending toward Socialism!" it replies.
The presentation encourages fundraisers to use a direct marketing pitch that exploits "extreme negative feelings toward existing administration." It also describes ways to appeal to major donors, including "peer to peer pressure," "access" and '"ego driven."
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called the images inappropriate and blamed a party staffer who he said wanted to have some fun at the expense of Democrats.
But Reid is now turning the tables with the characterization.
"I'm making light of this RNC presentation, but it's really not funny," he said in the appeal. "Using fear to motivate supporters is cowardly politics. Moreover, it's an admission that Republicans have no platform to run on other than saying 'NO' to just about everything, and obstructing change that Nevadans, and Americans, deserve."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.