Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter has made a habit of attacking his GOP opponents as outsourcers over the last two cycles, playing to populist protectionist sentiment in his campaign commercials. This time, Perlmutter has crossed the line in attacking his challenger Joe Coors Jr by using a photo of a Korean American employee of CoorsTek in a campaign ad to scare voters fearful of losing their job to Asia.

Now the Korean American from the Perlmutter attack ad is hitting back. Reports Eli Stokols:

ARVADA – A day after a New Jersey gay couple filed a federal lawsuit over the group that used their engagement photo in a Colorado campaign mailer earlier this year, a Korean immigrant is upset that his image appears in a recent campaign commercial that seeks to paint his former boss as someone who has outsourced American jobs.

Eun Cha, 72, who took a job at the Coors brewery in 1977 after immigrating from South Korea and is now the president of CoorsTek Asia, is shown in a campaign ad from Congressman Ed Perlmutter alleging that Joe Coors, his Republican challenger, oversaw the outsourcing of American jobs to Asia.

In an interview Thursday with FOX31 Denver following the first debate of the race in Colorado’s Seventh Congressional District, Coors defined Cha as an “American citizen, resident in Westminster, paying taxes to the United States.

Cha “being politicized the way he is by my opponent’s campaign, is just sickening,” Coors told FOX31 Denver.

Cha, a Vietnam veteran, is not pleased his image was used to imply that his job was not that of an American.

It’s the use of an image of someone who looks foreign that is drawing the loudest criticism of Perlmutter. The brewing controversy has echoes of Republican US Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra’s commercial “Debbie Spend-it-Now” that Hoekstra eventually pulled down after a torrent of criticism.

Like Hoekstra, Perlmutter now is under fire for his racist tactics. Per The Colorado Observer

The Coors campaign was quick to slam Perlmutter for demonizing Mr. Cha.

“It’s perplexing as to why Congressman Perlmutter would disparage a hard-working American citizen like Mr. Eun Cha and use his face as the image of outsourcing,” Coors’ spokeswoman Michelle Yi told Fox31 Denver.

T.Q. Houlton, a spokesman for the free-market advocacy group Compass Colorado, was similarly critical of Perlmutter’s decision to air the divisive ad.

“This type of xenophobia has no place in our political discourse. Extreme Ed Perlmutter should pull this desperate and misleading TV ad down immediately and personally apologize to Mr. Cha and Joe Coors for his racist ad,” said Houlton.

As we’ve pointed out before, Perlmutter’s attacks on outsourcing are not based in reality. Now that fake fact attack looks likely to blow up in Perlmutter’s face.

UPDATE: A reader writes in to note the Perlmutter ad also accuses CoorsTek of sending jobs to Mexico, but the ad never included photos of Mexicans. Did Perlmutter think he might get backlash from the Hispanic community if he did that?