Seven days ago, the Democratic National Committee released a web video that needled Mitt Romney over his alleged "secrecy." The problem? The clip featured Ann Romney's dressage horse, which provides her therapeutic relief as she battles Multiple Sclerosis. In light of this unseemly dig -- not to mention Barack Obama's assertions during the 2008 campaign that attacks on political spouses are "low class" and "off limits" -- the DNC offered a tepid apology and said they would pull the ad:
The Democratic National Committee last night yanked an ad that mocks Mitt Romney’s varying statements about releasing his tax returns by showing footage of a horse performing in the dressage arena... “Our use of the Romneys’ dressage horse was not meant to offend Mrs. Romney in any way, and we regret it if it did,” DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse told ABC News, according to an item posted on the outlet’s Web site. “We were simply making a point about Governor Romney’s failure to give straight answers on a variety of issues in this race. We have no plans to invoke the horse any further, to avoid misinterpretation.”
Numerous media outlets reported this outcome, then moved on -- perhaps assuming that DNC officials would quickly accomplish what they said (or at least heavily intimated) they would do. They never did. The web ad in question remains live on the official DNC "rapid response" YouTube channel, and has racked up more than 91,000 views:
Republican National Committee spokesman Tim Miller is unimpressed. "It's unfortunate that [the DNC] ran an ad that attacks Mrs. Romney over the horse she uses for therapy. Instead of taking responsibility for it, what they've done is offer a half-hearted apology, and apparently didn't even take it down," he said. Miller explained that the generally-accepted operating procedure for pulling down a problematic ad involves removing it from the air and all official web hosting accounts. (This ad was prepared exclusively for online dissemination). One wonders why the Democrats' so-called "rapid response" team would not rapidly respond to Woodhouse's public repudiation of the spot. Is the Democratic National Committee demonstrating its ineptitude or its cynicism here? Either they haven't prioritized keeping pace with their leadership's public pronouncements, or they're happy to quietly keep the ad online, even as the organization quasi-apologizes for it to mollify the press. Meanwhile, liberal attacks on Ann Romney continue apace. Salon's Joan Walsh penned a column positing that Mrs. Romney's use of the term "you people" betrays ingrained elitism, if not racism. ABC News, the outlet that conducted the original interview, has concluded that Ann Romney didn't even utter the supposed offending phrase. Are spouses "off limits" or not?
UPDATE - Tweeter @mattsauvage points out that this video is also still featured on the Democrats' official Facebook page:
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography