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George H.W. Bush unhappy with Michelle Nunn’s new TV ad

Former president George H.W. Bush introduces President Obama during an Oct. 16, 2009, "Points of Light" forum at Texas A&M University’s Rudder Auditorium in College Station, Tex. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

A new television ad from Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn seeks to refute an attack used by her Republican opponent, David Perdue.

In the ad, Nunn references a photo taken of her and President Obama that Perdue and other groups have been using in their ads as they try tying her to Obama, who is deeply unpopular in Georgia. In the ad, Nunn clarifies when and why it was taken — with some other pictures of her own.

"It was taken at an event honoring President Bush, who I worked for as CEO of his Points of Light Foundation," she says as images of former president George H. W. Bush flash on screen.

It's a bold attempt to refute Perdue's attacks — but it's infuriated the 41st president, who has endorsed Perdue despite his previous work with Nunn.

In a statement issued Monday, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said that “Michelle and her team have been clearly, repeatedly and consistently told that President Bush did not want them to use his photo as part of this campaign. Apparently, the Nunn team feels they can repeatedly disregard the former president’s wishes, which is very disappointing because it’s so disrespectful."

Here's the ad:

"Michelle has the utmost respect for President Bush and their work together at Points of Light," said Nunn campaign spokesman Nathan Click in an e-mailed statement. "The ad highlights the work Michelle has done with Presidents of both parties, including President George H.W. Bush, President Clinton and President George W. Bush.  In Washington, Michelle will put politics aside, and work with anyone, Democrat or Republican, to get things done for Georgia, just as she has her whole career."

Nunn frequently references her work with Points of Light Foundation in her ads and other campaign material, including this message starring a former elementary school principal. One ad seeks to dispel another Perdue charge — that the organization was indirectly funding terrorist groups. In her response, Nunn refutes the charge and notes that Bush's son, Neil Bush, called Perdue's attack "shameful."

This post has been updated.