Obama demands South Carolina networks pull anti-Biden ad 'clearly intended to mislead'

Brendan Morrow

Former President Barack Obama is calling on South Carolina TV networks to pull an ad using an excerpt from his audiobook to attack former Vice President Joe Biden.

The pro-Trump Committee to Defend the President in a South Carolina TV ad this week takes a clip from Obama's 1995 audiobook Dreams from My Father in which The Washington Post notes Obama is recalling a conversation he had with a barber in Chicago.

"Plantation politics," Obama says in the excerpt. "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 doesn't set up any context about the quote, which plays over attacks on Biden, only introducing it by saying, "Here's President Obama."

Representatives for Obama have now sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Super PAC behind the ad, CNN reports, with attorney Patchen Haggerty saying it's "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 Barack Obama during his presidency, when it was in fact made by a barber in a completely different context more than 20 years ago."

Obama's communications director also said "this despicable ad is straight out of the Republican disinformation playbook," and "we are calling on TV stations to take this ad down." The Committee to Defend the President, though, is doubling down, saying "we have every right to use his own words" and that Obama's "point applies perfectly to Joe Biden."

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