Update: Eddie Vale, spokesperson for Workers’ Voice, told TPM that he misunderstood the initial question about the Rafalca campaign and clarified to TPM after this post was published that his group will continue to use Rafalca despite the apology from Democrats. This post has been updated to reflect the change.
An organized labor super PAC is splitting with the DNC and pressing on with plans to make the Romney’s Olympic dressage horse an issue.
With the Olympic Games just around the corner, some Romney opponents see a ready-made opportunity to cast Romney as out of touch as the Romneys’ reportedly $100,000 horse, Rafalca, competes in the dressage competition.
But on Wednesday night, the DNC apologized for two web videos it launched earlier in the day featuring a dressage horse, after Ann Romney complained to ABC News. She said training show horses is “part of her therapy for multiple sclerosis.”
The DNC videos use dressage as a metaphor for Romney “dancing around the issues.” Here’s an example:
Democrats said the two videos (which racked up around 60,000 YouTube views combined by Thursday morning) were part of “the DNC’s series of digital products highlighting Rafalca,” according to emails sent to reporters this week. But that plan was quashed after the ABC News interview.
“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 spokesperson Brad Woodhouse told ABC. He said the DNC has “no plans to invoke the horse any further.”
Workers’ Voice, a super PAC run by the AFL-CIO, had also dinged Romney over Rafalca, pointing to reports that the the Romneys’ took a $77,000 loss on their 2010 taxes thanks to “their share of the partnership that owns Rafalca,” according to Bloomberg.
Vale told TPM that the labor-backed Rafalca campaign has been in the works for “months” and will likely come in the form of an online campaign once the Olympics start. Workers’ Voice is still working out the details of the campaign, but Vale promised it would go forward.
Vale said the attacks aren’t aimed at Ann Romney, and he dismissed her complaints over the efforts.
“This literally has absolutely nothing to do with that. What she does in therapy is all the way over on one side — this is an entirely different horse,” he said. “They have eight of them. And [Mitt] made so much money outsourcing American jobs that he can afford an entirely separate dancing horse to shoot off to London in a private jet. This has literally nothing to do with Ann Romney.”
Vale noted that Obama’s critics have gone plenty negative in the past.
“The party that says Obama is a Kenyan Socialist Muslim and that Michelle has a secret ‘whitey’ tape should probably get off their high horse about this,” he said.