Attorneys for former President Barack Obama have sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Republican super PAC this week to stop a misleading commercial that uses Obama’s words against his former vice president, Joe Biden, according to The New York Post.
The 30-second ad starts with a voice saying “Joe Biden promised to help our community. It was a lie. Here’s President Obama.” The commercial spot is part of the PAC’s $250,000 ad buy in the South Carolina region opposing presidential candidate Biden ahead of the state’s Democratic primary. The advertisement uses excerpts from Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father, out of context to make it appear that Obama was referring to 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 communication director, said in a statement to the New York Post. “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.”
Biden’s spokesperson Andrew Bates weighed in on the ad as he told the Post, “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, who’s now the only candidate to have proven he can overcome Trump’s trademark, craven smears.
“This latest intervention in the Democratic primary is one of the most desperate yet, a despicable torrent of misinformation by the president’s lackeys. It spotlights yet again what we’ve all known for a very long time: Joe Biden will win this battle for the soul of our nation.”
In defending the advertisement in question, Committee to Defend the President Chairman Ted Harvey released a statement this week to The Washington Post.
“It took President Trump to lower black unemployment and create jobs for the African American community, in addition to passing criminal justice reform. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is simply giving lip-service for votes. That’s the point President Obama made in his book, and we have every right to use his own words, in his own voice, in the political forum.”