On the "Neal Boortz Show" on Monday morning, Herman Cain clarified to the libertarian radio host that no animals were harmed in his latest ad, which featured a rabbit being shot out of the sky to represent "small business under the current tax code."
"We shot a stuffed animal that looked like a bunny," Cain told Boortz, who jokingly accused him of killing an actual rabbit.
"But it was screaming!" countered Boortz, causing Cain to laugh as he defended himself. "It's not real, those are sound effects," he said.
Cain told Boortz that the shocking image was intended to draw attention to Cain's critiques of the stimulus plan. "Nobody is talking about this failed stimulus plan and you would think that somebody would want to bring attention to it," he said. "The mainstream media is not going to do it, so we are going to do it with our sickofstimulus.com website. We will continue to highlight this." The email announcing the ad also pointedly mentioned Cain's willingness to anger PETA, the animal-rights group.
Later in the program, Cain also attacked Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, for saying that the Affordable Care Act would improve health insurance access and lower costs. "The lady is telling a lie, Neal, pure and simple," he said.
"Pure and simple, the lady is not too bright," responded Boortz to laughter from Cain, "First of all, why would anyone intentionally try to look like Kenny G with a sex change?"
"Well, that's a good question," Cain said in reply.
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.