A national tea party group has apologized for using a doctored photo of Karl Rove in which the Republican strategist was shown wearing a Nazi uniform.

“In an email sent under the banner of Tea Party Patriots, a manufactured image of Karl Rove was added to the email which Tea Party Patriots did not know about or approve," Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement. "We apologize to Mr. Rove. While we may have strong disagreements with him on the future of conservatism, we want to be clear this imagery is absolutely unacceptable and are working to ensure this type of mistake doesn't happen again."

Martin said that the image was added to the e-mail by an outside vendor, Active Engagement. In its own statement, the digital marketing firm said that the image was accidentally added to the email, simply because it was next to an approved image in a public online archive.

The group's e-mail was intended to combat a Rove-backed effort to quash Republican primary candidates deemed unelectable.
“Karl Rove believes he can raise hundreds of millions of dollars, crush the Tea Party movement and protect the big-government status quo in Washington from millions of freedom loving Americans. Well, he’s wrong," the e-mail read.

Tea Party Patriots was one of the first groups to try to organize conservative activists into a national movement. TPP is planning to launch its own super PAC, and in 2012 the group got a $1 million grant to support local tea party groups.