A tea party group portrayed leading Republican strategist Karl Rove as a Nazi in an email it sent Tuesday -- and later had to apologize for it, blaming a contractor.
The Tea Party Patriots, a well-established group within the right-wing movement, sent out the message featuring a Photoshopped image of Karl Rove in a Nazi uniform, Politico reported. The email's subject read: "Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove’s Face."
The email was sent under the name of Tea Party Patriots co-founder and national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin in a fundraising solicitation. But Jameson Cunningham, a spokesperson for the group, said it was an unfortunate accident.
"The image was a mistake which was never approved by TPP,” Cunningham told Politico.
Martin later apologized, saying a vendor was responsible for the Nazi image.
“In an email sent under the banner of Tea Party Patriots, a manufactured image of Karl Rove was added to the email which Tea Party Patriots did not know about or approve," Martin said in an emailed statement. "The image, which was added by an outside vendor, Active Engagement, was inappropriate, wrong and we have ordered them to immediately cease further use of the image.
“We apologize to Mr. Rove," Martin added. "While we may have strong disagreements with him on the future of conservatism, we want to be clear this imagery is absolutely unacceptable and are working to ensure this type of mistake doesn’t happen again.”
The email called out Rove for hating on tea party members and hindering their success. Rove has backed other right-wing groups, such as the Conservative Victory Project, which Tea Party members have seen as a way to detract support and funds from their movement and block them from office.
The doctored Rove image continues the ongoing feud between Rove and the Tea Party.
“Karl Rove believes he can raise hundreds of millions of dollars, crush the Tea Party movement and protect the big-government status quo in Washington from millions of freedom loving Americans. Well, he’s wrong," the email states.
Tuesday marks the fourth anniversary of the tea party's founding. Martin has promised to "shock the world" by raising $1 million in ten days, according to the Washington Times.
The Tea Party Patriots' website claims that "the liberals and the big government Republicans don't think a bunch of ordinary citizens can band together and raise $1,000,000.00 in ten days."
See the Photoshopped image below:
Update: 3:50 p.m.
This story was updated to include the apology of Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin.
If It's Sunday, It's Meet The Press
Feb. 27, 2000: George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove discusses the 2000 Election on NBC's "Meet the Press" (Photo by Michael Smith)
The Butterfly Ballot
Nov. 9, 2000: Karl Rove (L), Chief strategist for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, holds up a copy of a Cook County, Illinois, election butterfly ballot. Rove questioned statements from the campaign of Democratic candidate Al Gore that criticized the use of the same-style ballot in Palm Beach county, Florida. (PAUL RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Jan. 22, 2001: Senior George W. Bush staff members, Counselor to the President Karen Hughes (L), Senior Political Advisor to the President Karl Rove (2nd L), National Security Advisor to the President Condoleezza Rice (2nd R), and Presidential Spokesman Ari Fleischer (R) hold their right hands up during a swearing-in ceremony of dozens of staff members in the East Room of the White House. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Side By Side
Sept. 27, 2001: U.S. President George W. Bush (L) walks with his chief political adviser Karl Rove after returning to the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Oct. 5, 2001: U.S. President George W. Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove makes a signal to a White House media member as he stands in the wings of the Rose Garden in Washington, D.C. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Feb. 20, 2003: White House Senior Advisor Karl Rove (R) and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice walk toward the Marine One at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Making A Point
May 7, 2003: Bush political advisor Karl Rove speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Michael Springer/Getty Images)
Can I Have Your Egg Autograph?
May 7, 2003: Bush political advisor Karl Rove is asked to autograph eggs at a 'Politics & Eggs' luncheon at the Bedford Inn in Bedford, New Hampshire. (Photo by Michael Springer/Getty Images)
May 8, 2004: Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President Bush, speaks to graduates of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. (Photo by Eric Brady/Getty Images)
Shield The Security Advisor
Dec. 3, 2004: Presidential advisor Karl Rove(L) jokingly shields National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice from the press in Washington, D.C. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Do You See What I See?
July 14, 2005: U.S. President George W. Bush and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove walk from the Oval Office across the South Lawn of the White House toward Marine One in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Oct. 25, 2005: President Bush's senior advisor Karl Rove drives his car out of his driveway in Washington D.C. Rove is a key figure in the CIA leak investigation headed by Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mirror, Mirror On The Car
Oct. 27, 2005: President Bush's senior advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove looks through his sideview mirror as he arrives at the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC. Rove was a key figure in the CIA leak investigation headed by Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Feb. 27, 2006: White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card (L) whispers in the ear of Senior White House Advisor Karl Rove as US President George W. Bush (not pictured) addresses a meeting of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
May 15, 2006: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove holds up a copy of 'Kings of the Hill,' by Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, while delivering remarks on economic policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Jan. 25, 2007: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove (L), Communications Director Kevin Sullivan (C) and Spokesperson Tony Snow jokingly drink water at the same time before U.S. President George W. Bush participated a round table event at Saint Luke's East Hospital in Lee's Summit, Missouri. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Look, Obama's In The Paper
Jan. 17, 2007: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove points to today's edition of USA Today with U.S. Senator Barack Obama, D-IL, on the front page as he awaits U.S. President George W. Bush's arrival at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Wiping His Forehead
March 28, 2007: Karl Rove, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, wipes his forehead before rapping with 'Who's Line is it Anyway?' stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood during the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, D.C. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Hug It Out
Aug. 13, 2007: U.S. President George W. Bush embraces Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor, after a statement by Rove at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Oct. 21, 2008: Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush, speaks during a panel discussion at the 2008 Mortgage Bankers Association Conference and Expo in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hold The Phone
Aug. 28, 2012: Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush, walks on the floor before the start of the second day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)