A group backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch has agreed to adjust an ad featuring President Barack Obama and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) after facing complaints about an insensitive photo.
Families of the Aurora movie theater shooting victims called on the conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity to remove the photo upon revelations it was a photoshopped image from when Obama and Udall visited a hospital treating victims of the shooting in July 2012.
Twelve people were killed and 58 were wounded in the shooting.
The ad asks Udall to "stop supporting Obamacare." Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is Udall's presumed Republican challenger in November in a race that could determine control of the Senate.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) was cropped out of the image.
After news of the television ad broke, families of some of the theater shooting victims demanded that Americans for Prosperity pull the ad.
"The use of an image taken from the President's visit to Colorado to meet with us after our children were killed in the Aurora Theater shooting is an utter disgrace," the family members said in a statement. "And to insinuate the somber expressions were for anything other than their compassionate response to our heartbreak is beyond unconscionable. Americans for Prosperity is exploiting our tragedy for political gain and this ad should be pulled from the air immediately. We hope Colorado television stations will exercise sound judgment and not air this ad until AFP removes the image."
Udall's campaign called the use of the image “callous."
“Congressman Cory Gardner should do the right thing by demanding his friends and allies stop using the Aurora tragedy for political gain," the campaign said in a statement.
Americans for Prosperity told a local Fox affiliate Wednesday that it would take out the image.
“Fortunately we can and will change the image. Senator Udall can’t change his record that led to over 335,000 Coloradans receiving letters indicating that their health care policy had been canceled,” spokesman Dustin Zvonek told KVDR.