UPDATE: Rep. Eric Cantor's spokesperson has apologized:
"I would like to apologize for a joke that was in no way an official response from Congressman Cantor, but instead an inappropriate email. I apologize to AFSCME for my inappropriate email containing an old video. Let me be clear, we know people are hurting in these trying times and House Republicans completely agree that we must pass an economic recovery bill that preserves, protects and create jobs for Americans facing these economic challenges," said Brad Dayspring.
As first reported by The Plum Line, Virginia Republican Eric Cantor is in hot water after his office responded to critics by sending out a profane web video.
The union AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), along with Americans United for Change, started running ads targeting Cantor for encouraging Republican opposition to the economic recovery plan. The House whip's office reacted by sending out an ad of their own (but not created by them), depicting AFSCME workers as curse-spewing bullies.
"On your way to work tomorrow, instead of sitting around with your finger up your ass, look around," the voiceover says. "There's a union out there called AFSCME and they're busting their balls doing a lot of shit work you take for granted. For example, we pick up your fucking garbage."
"We don't take shit from nobody," the voiceover finishes. "You got that, asshole? AFSCME -- the fucking union that works for you."
WATCH (Warning: Language NSFW):
AFSCME President Gerald McEntee isn't amused. "Eric Cantor may think the greatest economic crisis in seventy years is a joke, but we don't," he said in a statement. "He should talk to the people in Virginia who are losing their jobs, health care and homes."
Brad Woodhouse, President of Americans United for Change, responded more forcefully:
"Does Eric Cantor believe that peddling profanity-laced filth around the Internet is consistent with the values of the people of Virginia or the country? This is childish, inappropriate and disgusting behavior from someone who is supposed to be a leader in Congress and a role model to others. Eric Cantor's response to one of the most serious crises facing America in our lifetimes is to spread this filth, denigrate government employees and treat the current economic crisis like a joke. This video has been floating around on YouTube for years - but Eric Cantor's use of it in this context shows how completely and utterly out of touch he is with the current economic crisis and the lives of his constituents. Eric Cantor should be ashamed and he should apologize."
And AFL-CIO President John Sweeney added: "During these tough economic times the last thing hard working Americans need is to be ridiculed by a member of the Republican leadership. Rep. Cantor should apologize for insulting America's workers with this profane video."
ThinkProgress points out that Cantor himself is an anti-obscenity crusader who has said "the use of obscenity" in television "should not and cannot be tolerated."