(CNN) – The Senate campaign for Republican Rep. Tom Cotton distanced itself Wednesday from an attack by the National Republican Senatorial Campaign on an ad released by opponent Sen. Mark Pryor highlighting his religion in their home state of Arkansas.
Pryor, a vulnerable, two-term Democratic senator up for re-election next year, launched a new television ad Wednesday, saying, "I'm not afraid to say that I believe in God and I believe in his word."
"The Bible teaches us that no one has all of the answers, only God does, and neither political party is always right. This is my compass," Pryor says in the ad.
In response, NRSC communications director Brad Dayspring sent an e-mail to reporters criticizing Pryor for comments the senator previously made about religion that Dayspring said contradicts his latest ad.
"So is the Bible Mark Pryor's compass, providing the 'comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas?' Or is it really not a good rule book for political issues and decisions made in the Senate? Guess it depends on which Mark Pryor that you ask," Dayspring said in the e-mail.
Cotton campaign spokesman David Ray called the e-mail "bizarre and offensive."
"We should all agree that America is better off when all our public officials in both parties have the humility to seek guidance from God."
Dayspring did not respond to Ray’s comments.
"It's frankly despicable that Congressman Cotton's Washington allies are manipulating quotes to question the sincerity of Mark's religious beliefs," Pryor campaign manager Jeff Weaver told The Hill. "Tom Cotton needs to step up and denounce these shameful attacks on Mark Pryor's faith."
Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said the "NRSC has crossed the line this week with attacks on the religious faith of Democrats."
"NRSC should immediately pull down their attack and apologize to Senator Pryor and other people of faith who don't deserve to have their religious beliefs attacked by political operatives in Washington, D.C. This attack was out of bounds. Period."
Cotton, a rising star in the GOP, announced he would run for the Senate in August.
Next year, Democrats will try to maintain their majority in the Senate, where they currently hold a 55-45 edge (including two independents who caucus with the party) over the GOP.
CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.