The Maryland Republican Party conceded Friday that a flyer it mailed to urge conservatives to vote and depicting apparently liberal protesters was an “inartful” way to get its message out.
The mailing — publicized Friday by the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous — shows a crowd milling about on one side, with a woman wearing an American flag over her face and flashing a peace sign on the other.
“Pay attention conservatives! Liberals like these will be voting,” it reads. “Will you be voting this year? These folks definitely will.”
The week-old flyer was distributed as some Republicans nationally have claimed Democratic victories in next month’s election will open the door to a kind of mob rule.
Patrick O’Keefe, a spokesman for the Maryland Republican Party, said the mailer was meant to echo Democrats’ own language about high turnout among their supporters.
“The mailing concedes only what Democrats have been saying themselves for two years, which is their voters are going to turn out in high numbers,” he said. “In retrospect, this was an inartful way to do that.”
Jealous said in a statement that the images appeared to be drawn from the international women’s march protests, held a day after the 2017 inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump, and said they crossed “clear lines of decency.”
“This is dangerous and sends the wrong signal about how society should respond to women peacefully demonstrating against a president who regularly demeans them,” Jealous said.
Jealous is running against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Early voting is underway in Maryland through Nov. 1, while Election Day is Nov. 6.