The Biden campaign said it will remove images of a retired general who led the fight against Islamic State terrorists in Iraq after the military leader objected because it gave the impression that he endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate.
The campaign video first released on Oct. 10 shows an image of Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland and Biden when the former vice president visited Iraq in April 2016.
“Much to my surprise,” MacFarland wrote on LinkedIn over the weekend, “I have been featured more than once in VP Joe Biden’s political ad campaign.”
“A number of people have understandably inferred that my appearance constitutes an endorsement of the former Vice President,” MacFarland, who commanded the international coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria from 2015 to 2016, said in the post. “It does not. To be clear, I have not endorsed President Trump, either. I’m not a political person, but this isn’t about just me. I object to the use of ANY military personnel in uniform in political ads – full stop.”
The Biden campaign issued a statement on Monday that MacFarland would no longer be a part of the ad that touted Biden’s work with the US military.
“As the proud father of a veteran and as someone who has always been a strong ally for our men and women in uniform, Vice President Biden has the utmost respect for those who have served, and in accordance with Lt. Gen. MacFarland’s wishes we’re in the process of removing his image from this ad,” campaign spokesman Michael Gwin said.
“Donald Trump, in sharp contrast, has shown himself happy to use our armed forces as a political prop and trample over the fundamental line between politics and our military to the extent that he’s been publicly rebuked by leading current and retired generals and by his own Defense secretary,” Gwin added.
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