Labrador fires spokesman over accidental tweet

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has fired his longtime spokesman over a tweet the spokesman accidentally sent from the congressman's Twitter account praising a Super Bowl commercial featuring the stars of the CBS show "Broke Girls" provocatively pole dancing, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Spokesman Phil Hardy deleted the tweet, which read "Me likey Broke Girls" after 14 seconds, but Labrador's district director told the Idaho newspaper that Labrador fired Hardy late Monday over the incident. Labrador's office had apologized Monday for the slightly off-color tweet. Hardy, who had formerly worked in the music industry, had served as Labrador's director of communications since his 2010 campaign.

Labrador is taking on an increasingly public profile, as he seeks to coax fellow conservatives to consider an overhaul of the nation's immigration system. The congressman is a Fox News and tea party favorite, and Hardy had handled Labrador's voluminous press requests from his Meridian, Idaho, headquarters and not from Washington.

In an e-mail sent Monday shortly after news of the tweet hit the Internet, Hardy acknowledged that he was responsible but said the mistake was  not intentional. "Totally an accident," he said. He did not immediately respond to a phone message Thursday. A spokeswoman for Labrador also did not immediately respond.

Hardy is hardly the first Capitol Hill staffer to lose his job over an errant tweet. An intern for former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was fired after accidentally retweeting a message from a member of the gender-bending band Scissor Sisters. Staffers for Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) lost their jobs after disparaging their boss and bragging about their drinking habits on Twitter.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the reason for Richard Grenell's resignation from the Mitt Romney campaign.

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Sean Sullivan · February 7, 2013