No household pet, it seems, is safe from Herman Cain.
Having already used a flopping, out-of-water goldfish to portray "the economy on stimulus," Cain sent an email to supporters on Monday to let them know that "A brand new, take-no-prisoners video is available for your viewing and forwarding pleasure. And this one picks right up where we left off on our theme of “Sick of Stimulus” – and may even go a bit farther."
It turns out that "a bit farther" means using a rabbit as a skeet-shooting target. In the 30-second video, which advertises Cain's website sickofstimulus.com, the small girl from the goldfish ad places a rabbit in a catapult, where it's launched and shot out of the sky by a man with a shotgun. "This is small business under the current tax code. Any questions?" asks the girl, as the man cocks the rifle again in the background.
In the email, Cain promises to let supporters help make future ads, asking them to "tell us your idea for why you are tired of more federal debt, crazy deficits and wasteful government spending." Favorite animals are apparently optional.
Watch the full ad below:
UPDATE: 1:20 p.m. -- YouTube took down Cain's ad at some point on Monday afternoon. Attempts to view the video now result in a message that says, "This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content."
While the reason for the removal is unclear, Cain's ad seems to violate YouTube's policy on "Shocking and Disgusting" images:
It’s not okay to post violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional context and information. For instance, including a clip from a slaughter house in a video on factory farming may be appropriate. However, stringing together unrelated and gruesome clips of animals being slaughtered in a video may be considered gratuitous if its purpose is to shock rather than illustrate.
UPDATE: 1:35 p.m. -- The video has resurfaced on YouTube. A YouTube spokesman explained to The Huffington Post in a statement why the video was temporarily taken down: Occasionally, a video flagged by users or identified by our spam team is mistakenly taken down. When this is brought to our attention, we review the content and take appropriate action, including reinstating videos that had been removed."
Amanda Terkel contributed reporting.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the weapon used in the video. The man fires a shotgun, not a rifle.