A controversial anti-Clinton ad featuring what appears to be a national cemetery is garnering backlash from both national and local veterans.
The NRA said it spent $2 million to run the ad in Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maine and Ohio — with the bulk of the spending going towards Ohio airtime.
The ad features Mark “Oz” Geist, a retired U.S. Marine Corps veteran and CIA contractor who fought in Benghazi in 2012.
“Hillary as President? No thanks,” the 30-second ad says. “I served in Benghazi. My friends didn’t make it.”
A VA spokesman told ABC News that the images of a national cemetery used in the piece are in violation of policy.
“NCA did not receive a request from the NRA to film the subject advertisement. If we had received such a request, we would have denied it based on the partisan content,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Meanwhile local veterans in Northeast Ohio said they have already seen the ad circulating online.
“I know people obviously in those military cemeteries and it should not be politicized for at any time for any issue,” Vietnam Veteran Dennis Kucler told newsnet5.com.
Kucler supported calls from other veterans’ organizations for the NRA to take the ad down.
Others told newsnet5.com that the cemetery shots were essential to the ad and should be allowed.
“I just think they way it’s done, the way they handle it is done right,” said Army veteran Ken Gabel.
A statement on the NRA’s Political Victory Fund website said the following, in part:
“We cannot trust Hillary Clinton with our gun rights or our national security. The stakes in this election for law-abiding gun owners have never been higher, and the NRA will use all available resources to ensure that voters understand the consequences of a Hillary Clinton presidency on their fundamental right of self-defense.”
The ad is the NRA’s first TV advertisement of the election cycle and will run nationally on cable and local broadcast stations.