Obama Demands South Carolina TV Stations Pull ‘Misleading’ Ad Attacking Biden
Former president Barack Obama may not have endorsed his former running mate, but he’s come out of the woodwork to get Joe Biden’s back.
Obama is calling on South Carolina television stations “to stop running an ad from a super PAC supporting President Trump that uses Obama’s words out of context in a misleading attack on former vice president Joe Biden,” The Washington Post reports.
“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. “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 said that Obama has “several friends” in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, “including, of course, his own esteemed Vice President.” But she added that Obama has “no plans to endorse in the primary,” The Post said.
In an attempt to sway black voters in the state, the ad begins with a narrator saying “Joe Biden promised to help our community. It was a lie. Here’s President Obama.”
The ad then runs audio of Obama reading an unrelated passage from his 1995 book, “Dreams from My Father,” about a conversation he had with a barber in Chicago when he was a community organizer.
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.
Back in April, when Biden announced he would be running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama issued a statement through Hill.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. He relied on the Vice President’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today,” the statement said.
But the statement was notably lacking a formal endorsement.
Biden, though, said he had personally asked Obama not to issue an endorsement. “I asked President Obama not to endorse, and he doesn’t want to. Listen, we should — whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits,” he said when asked by reporters why Obama had not endorsed him.