US President Barack Obama speaks alongside Colorado Senator Mark Udall and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (R) at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, July 22, 2012.
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Conservative group under fire for latest anti-Obamacare ad


Democrats are hitting back against the tea party group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) for their latest anti-Obamacare ad … not because of what it says, but because of the imagery it uses. 

The latest ad from the tea party-affiliated group backed by the Koch brothers slams Colorado Sen. Mark Udall for his support of the Affordable Care Act, picturing him alongside Pres. Obama. But that image, which shows Obama and Udall frowning and looking concerned, came from an event the two appeared at together in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting. 

The group owned up to its mistake Wednesday afternoon via Twitter, apologizing to Aurora families who may have been offended.

AFP also removed the original version of the ad from YouTube, and uploaded a new version that replaced the questionable photo with a Photoshopped shot of Udall and Obama together. (See the replacement shot for yourself at 0:18.) 

AFP released the ad alongside three other Obamacare-focused ads Wednesday, touting the six-figure ad buys in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and New Hampshire.

Neither the new one, nor the original version of the ad made any mention of the shooting, instead blasting Udall for his support of the Affordable Care Act, pointing to data released by the state’s insurance commissioner this January showing that roughly 335,000 Coloradans faced health insurance plan cancellations.

Udall campaign manager Adam Dunstone called on his likely-Republican opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, to denounce the ad. 

“All Coloradans, regardless of political party, agree that using the Aurora tragedy in political attacks is callous, insensitive and wrong. Congressman Cory Gardner should do the right thing by demanding his friends and allies stop using the Aurora tragedy for political gain,” Dunstone said in a statement to NBC News“As someone who attended an Aurora memorial alongside Sen. Udall, Gardner surely has the decency to publicly condemn the Koch brothers for this cynical ad.”

A recent poll from Public Policy Polling found Udall has a two-point lead over Gardner in a hypothetical match-up.