Former President Barack Obama has sent out a cease and desist letter telling a pro-President Donald Trump group to stop airing an attack ad that uses Obama’s voice to misrepresent his position on Joe Biden.
The ad, running on South Carolina TV stations, is aimed at voters considering Obama’s former Vice President as the Democratic presidential nominee in the state’s upcoming primary.
“Joe Biden promised to help our community. It was a lie. Here’s President Obama,” the ad says. It then uses an audio clip from Obama’s 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, to indicate that Biden supports “plantation politics.” South Carolina has a large black population and their support is considered a key to reviving Biden’s hopes to be the Democratic victor in the primary.
The ad concludes with the message, “Enough. Joe Biden won’t represent us, defend us, or help us. Don’t believe Biden’s empty promises.”
But the audio clip of Obama’s voice is not talking about Biden, but rather is Obama reading a quotation from a barber about Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington.
The ads were purchased by the Committee to Defend the President, a Political Action Committee that aired them on Tuesday night before the debates in Charleson.
Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill issued a statement to USA Today: “[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.
“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.”