(CNN) - An Iowa billboard that featured side-by-side images of President Obama, Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin is now the subject of a fundraising push by the Democratic National Committee.
"I think comparing a president of the United States to totalitarian dictators responsible for mass murder is appalling," DNC Executive Director Jen O'Malley Dillon wrote in an email to committee supporters Wednesday evening. "I think calling Barack Obama a socialist is nonsensical. But I don't think any of this is surprising."
Located in Mason City, Iowa, the controversial billboard went up last week, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported, and was ordered and paid for by the North Iowa Tea Party. The paper also reported Wednesday that the billboard had been papered over.
The billboard depicted Obama underneath the label "Democrat Socialism," Hitler under the label "National Socialism," and Lenin under the label "Marxist Socialism."
The word "change," one of Obama's trademark slogans from his White House run, appeared beneath each of the images.
And that is a message the DNC is now using to raise funds in advance of this year's midterm elections.
"Republicans keep saying that they aren't extremists - but they keep doing things like this. And don't let the tea party label fool you - these people are Republicans, and the only thing that scares me about them is that they're fired up to vote in November," the DNC executive director says in her email before soliciting donations.
"The single best way you can help right now is to donate to fund this effort," she wrote. "Will you chip in $5 or more to help us give the people of Iowa a new billboard - and run ads across the country?"
The North Iowa Tea Party, the local Tea Party group behind the billboard, has not responded to requests for comment from CNN.