by RICHIE DUCHON – (NBC NEWS) - Candy maker Skittles was left sour Monday after being pulled into the mire of the 2016 presidential race by Donald Trump Jr.
The Republican presidential nominee's son tweeted an image Monday that used the popular rainbow-colored candy to make a policy argument against admitting refugees into the United States.
"If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful," the image read. Trump added his own commentary on the message, tweeting, "This image says it all. Let's end the politically correct agenda that doesn't put America first. #trump2016."
Skittles parent company Wrigley Americas distanced itself from the tweet with a terse response opposing Trump Jr.'s premise.
"Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don't feel it's an appropriate analogy," Vice President of Corporate Affairs Denise Young said in the statement. "We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing."
Trump Jr.'s tweet prompted a barrage of angry responses on Twitter. Much of the backlash included images of dead or injured Syrian children.
Some used the picture of now-famous Omran Daqneesh, whose stunned gaze from under blood and dust briefly refocused the attention of millions on the fighting in Syria.
Others referenced the horrific photo of dead refugee toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose washed up body become the defining image of the Syrian refugee crisis in September 2015.
Former U.S. intelligence analyst and current MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance used the moment to address the historic perils of turning refugees away.
And at least one person, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, pointed out that the Trump campaign had lifted the idea from elsewhere on social media — by pointing to his own tweet with same language a month ago.