Facing political flak for campaigning during a natural disaster, Hillary Clinton's campaign said Thursday it has asked the Weather Channel to delay airing its TV ads until after Hurricane Matthew passes Florida.
Politico reported Wednesday on Clinton's $63,000 Weather Channel ad purchase in Florida TV markets. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who managed the state through several hurricanes, appeared to criticize the decision late Wednesday on Twitter.
Clinton's campaign pushed back Thursday, saying the spots were part of a larger buy that included the Weather Channel.
"Earlier in the week we made changes to our TV ad reservations across hundreds of stations in several battleground states including Florida," spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in a statement. "Less than 1% of those changes included the Weather Channel. We have requested that stations in Florida delay any of those ads on the Weather Channel until after the storm passes."
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Clinton out for the ads, saying she was "exploiting" the storm.
Couldn't let this crisis go to waste? Shameful @HillaryClinton's campaign even considered exploiting Hurricane Matthew for political gain— Reince Priebus (@Reince) October 6, 2016
Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, told reporters Thursday that Priebus was the one "trying to politicize the hurricane."
"Our first priority on Hurricane Matthew is that people our safe," he said. "We don't think that the voters of Florida need this election to get mixed up with their efforts to get information on this storm."
This post has been updated.