(CNN) - A Republican congressman and supporter of John McCain called a Spanish television ad from the Obama campaign "offensive and dishonest" Thursday, and said the Democratic nominee owes the Latino community an apology.
"It is offensive and dishonest for Barack Obama to lie about John McCain's record on immigration and years of support for the Hispanic community, when it was Barack Obama himself who voted for 'poison pill' amendments that killed the effort at immigration reform. Instead of making false ads with baseless attacks, Barack Obama should be apologizing to the Latino community," Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart said in statement released by the McCain campaign.
The Spanish-language ad, launched earlier this week, aims to connect McCain to Republicans who have staked out staunch anti-illegal immigration stances - including talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
"They want us to forget the insults we've put up with, the intolerance," the television ad's narrator says in Spanish as an image of Limbaugh is quoted saying, "Mexicans are stupid and unqualified" and "Shut your mouth or get out."
"They made us feel marginalized in a country we love so much," the narrator continues. "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote and another, even worse, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families."
But McCain has repeatedly disagreed with his party's base on the issue of immigration and was a chief sponsor of an immigration reform bill last year that deeply angered conservatives and nearly sunk his campaign for the presidency. The Arizona senator is also no favorite of Limbaugh, particularly for seeming to take a moderate stance on illegal immigration. But critics note McCain shifted his own policy on immigration as the Republican presidential primary race heated up, advocating a "security first" approach.
Limbaugh also took issue with the ad, telling the Politico it had taken his past statements - one of which is 15 years old - out of context and was an attempt at "race baiting."
"Obama is now stoking racism in the country," Limbaugh said. "Obama is a disgrace - he wants the public to think he is Mr. Nice Guy while his thugs are in Alaska looking for dirt on Palin and he runs race-baiting ads and lies about what he has done and what McCain has done."