A local Virginia Republican group has apologized for sending around a Halloween email that depicted President Obama as a zombie with a hole in his head.
The graphic email went out early Monday to advertise the Loudoun County GOP presence at a parade that evening.
"We are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy," the party said in the message. A banner image on top showed zombie versions of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Obama -- the latter image distorted a famous campaign poster, removing chunks of the president's face and showing a leaky hole in his head.
After Virginia officials from both parties condemned the email, Loudoun County GOP Chairman Mark Sell apologized.
"The Loudoun County Republican Committee yesterday sent an email to its members that represented a light-hearted attempt to inject satire humor into the Halloween holiday," he said in a statement. "Apparently, some individuals have interpreted an image of Barack Obama that appeared within the email as intending to portray the president as a victim of a violent crime.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and we deeply and sincerely apologize to the president and anyone who viewed the image if that was the impression that was left."
He said his group "deplores any effort to display, suggest or promote violence against the president or any other political figure."
The statement came after an apparent demand from Virginia Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins to stop using the image and apologize.
"The disgusting image used today on a mass email has no place in our politics. Ever," Mullins said in a statement Monday. "The Republican Party of Virginia condemns the image and its use in the strongest possible terms."
A spokesman with the Secret Service said the agency is "aware of the situation."