On Wednesday, former President Barack Obama had to come out of character to check a South Carolina TV station that was running an ad from a pro-Trump super PAC that took Obama’s words out of context to go after his ace, former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the Washington Post, some super PAC called the Committee to Defend the President, paid for an ad that falsely suggests “that words Obama spoke in the narration of his own 1995 book were meant to describe Biden.”
Earlier this month, the group placed anti-Biden advertising in Nevada and has spent some $250,000 in ads in South Carolina, all hating on Biden.
“This despicable ad is straight out of the Republican disinformation playbook, and it’s clearly designed to suppress turnout among minority voters in South Carolina by taking President Obama’s voice out of context and twisting his words to mislead viewers,” Katie Hill, Obama’s communications director, said in a statement, the Post reports. “In the interest of truth in advertising, we are calling on TV stations to take this ad down and stop playing into the hands of bad actors who seek to sow division and confusion among the electorate.”
Hill added that Obama has no intention of endorsing anyone in the Democratic presidential primary as he’s got several friends running for office.
Patchen M. Haggerty, an attorney representing Obama, also reached out to the pro-Trump group’s executive director, Chad Banghart, to tell them to stop playing with the former president considering they didn’t have authorization to use his “name, image, likeness, voice and [the] book passage is clearly intended to mislead the target audience of the ad into believing that the passage from the audiobook is a statement that was made by President Obama during his presidency.”
The letter also requested that the group “immediately remove” the ad from public view, the Post reports.
Because the ad is shady AF and is trying to manipulate black voters, a narrator can be heard saying “Joe Biden promised to help our community. It was a lie. Here’s President Obama.”
The ad then runs audio of Obama reading a passage that doesn’t have anything to do with Biden from his book, Dreams from My Father. The actual passage is “about a conversation he had with a barber in Chicago when he was a community organizer,” the Post reports.
From the Post:
The Obama passage, which describes the mistreatment of black voters by politicians, refers to complaints about “plantation politics” and the history in Chicago of Democratic politicians expecting black votes despite poor housing, poor job opportunities and police brutality.
The ad repurposes a similar attack the Committee to Defend the President ran last year in several states with many black politicians, including Georgia, Michigan and Louisiana, according to PolitiFact . Similar tactics, aimed at decreasing black turnout for Democrats, were used in a radio ad by another pro-Trump super PAC, Great America Alliance, in the 2017 special House election in Georgia.
“Donald Trump and his allies are absolutely terrified that Joe Biden will defeat him in November. Trump even got himself impeached by trying to force another country to lie about the vice president,” Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, told the Post. “This latest intervention in the Democratic primary is one of the most desperate yet, a despicable torrent of misinformation by the president’s lackeys.”