Obama Lawyers Denounce ‘Despicable’ Pro-Trump Super PAC Ad Targeting Biden
Former president's law firm issue cease and desist letter
Former President Barack Obama's legal team condemned an ad created by pro-Trump super PAC describing it as "despicable" for juxtaposing Obama's words on race along with claims about former Vice President Joe Biden.
On Wednesday, the Seattle-based law firm representing Obama's office, Perkins Coie, issued a cease and desist letter to the super PAC.
The spokeswoman for Obama, Katie Hill, called on South Carolina television stations to cease airing the ad ahead of Saturday's presidential primary.
"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," she said in a statement.
The ad, created by the Committee to Defend the President, plays audio of Obama talking about "plantation politics" along with police brutality and poor housing and jobs for African Americans.
The words come from Obama's 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father."
As the audio of Obama plays, claims about Biden's record on racial issues also appear as text.
Quoting a New York Times headline from 2019, the ad reads:
"Joe Biden wrote bill that disproportionately jailed African Americans."
"Enough," a female voice says.
"Joe Biden won't represent us, defend us, or help us," she adds.
"Don't believe Biden's empty promises."
Biden's campaign also attacked the add calling it "desperate" and "despicable."
Harvard Law School Professor #AlanDershowitz has dropped a bombshell on Washington DC by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack #Obama ordered the FBI to investigate somebody at the request of liberal billionaire #GeorgeSoros.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) February 18, 2020
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"Donald Trump and his allies are absolutely terrified that Joe Biden will defeat him in November," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said.
"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," he added.
"This latest intervention in the Democratic primary is one of the most desperate yet, a despicable torrent of misinformation by the president's lackeys," Bates continued.
"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."
Obama has notably refused to endorse Biden's and Hill's comments Wednesday represented one of the few times the 44th president has explicitly weighed in on the Democratic race.
But according to a New York Times report from last year, Obama reportedly told Biden, “you don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” referring to entering the 2020 race.
The paper also reported that Obama "took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms."