The National Republican Senatorial Committee "hicky" television ad backing John Raese in his U.S. Senate race against Gov. Joe Manchin is still stirring controversy.
In the ad, two men dressed in flannel shirts and wearing ball caps talks to a third man at a dining counter, warning him that if Manchin wins, "'Washington Joe' does whatever Obama wants ...yeah, well, we'd better keep Joe Manchin right here in West Virginia ... away from Washington."
Critics believe the ad, which has attracted national attention, makes West Virginians look like stupid hicks.
On Wednesday, Raese supporters promised to remove the ad. It was taken off YouTube on Thursday, but continued running repeatedly on West Virginia television stations through Friday evening.
Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, said on Sunday, "I saw it several times on Friday. My understanding was that they would pull the ad by either Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
"When I saw it on Friday, it was about 48 hours after they said they would pull the ad. I think its language hurts West Virginia. We have worked very hard to overcome the stereotype people outside our state seem to have," Roberts said.
Kevin McLaughlin, a Raese campaign press spokesman, said the ad was not produced by the Raese campaign.
"Therefore, we have no power whatsoever over when it is pulled or not. We are one of those that are disappointed it wasn't taken down earlier.
"I cannot react to that which we cannot control," McLaughlin added.
Kenny Perdue, president of the West Virginia AFL-CIO, said on Sunday, "The fact that they didn't pull the ad like they said they would is a slam to every working person in the state, including the owners of every company in the state.
"We need to treat them with the respect they deserve and vote against them."
Roberts added, "I am surprised there has not been more activity by the National Republican Senatorial Campaign committee to stand up and say, 'This should never have happened and we will work to make it right.'"