Former President Barack Obama demanded South Carolina television stations and a pro-Trump group stop airing a “despicable” ad that misuses his voice to attack his former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Joe Biden promised to help our community. It was a lie. Here’s President Obama,” the ad begins, then continues to play an audio passage from Obama’s 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” to allude that Biden supports “plantation politics” and describes how the black community had been wrongfully treated.
The ad simultaneously flashes headlines across the screen that knocked Biden’s history on race, and concludes: “Enough. Joe Biden won’t represent us, defend us, or help us. Don’t believe Biden’s empty promises.”
PolitiFact found that the audio is Obama reading a quotation from a barber about Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington, where the man says, “Plantation politics. Black people in the worst jobs.The worst housing. Police brutality rampant. But when the so-called black committeemen came around election time, we’d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket. Sell our souls for a Christmas turkey.”
The ad comes from the Committee to Defend the President, and aired on local CBS affiliates in South Carolina before Tuesday night’s Democratic debate in Charleston. Obama’s office said his lawyers would be sending the PAC a cease-and-desist letter.
Obama spokeswoman, Katie Hill, told USA TODAY in a statement that, “[T]his 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.”
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