Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who has spoken on numerous occasions of the need for greater civility in political discourse, retweeted a comment calling Mitt Romney a “heartless douchebag who doesn’t like animals or small children,” according to the Washington Free Beacon, which broke the story yesterday.

After the Free Beacon published its report, Ellison deleted the retweet.

The Free Beacon received this comment from Ellison’s Communications Director, Jennifer Porter Gore: “a retweet is not an endorsement.  The congressman removed the tweet because it appeared to endorse use of a nasty term, which is not what we wanted.”

Not everyone on Twitter was buying that explanation:!/PalinsDriver/status/193180802073378817!/Steffenheimer/status/193047591347421184!/RJCHQ/status/192979206420955136

At the time of this writing, the Ellison retweet has not been reported by the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, or any other mainstream media news outlet.