Pro-Trump group uses Obama out of context in Georgia election ad
An outside group that supports President Donald Trump is running a radio ad in Atlanta ahead of Georgia’s special election Tuesday that takes the voice of former President Barack Obama out of context to make the argument that Democrats take black voters for granted.
Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump non-profit group that previously ran ads attacking former FBI director James Comey during his testimony, is running an ad that quotes Obama narrating his autobiographical book “Dreams From My Father.” The ad, however, does not mention that in the selected passage, Obama is actually quoting someone else who is speaking about the black community and Chicago politics before the early 1980s.
The ad begins with narration from conservative activist Autry Pruitt.
“Hi, my name is Autry Pruitt, a fellow black American working hard every day, just like you. It may seem out of season, but all of a sudden, Democratic politicians have started coming around again. We normally only see them every other November, swarming around and making promises to get our vote. But nothing ever changes for us, does it? Here’s what President Barack Obama had to say about it.”
Then Obama can be heard saying, “Plantation politics. 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.”
Pruitt then says, “Let’s not sell out for another Christmas turkey. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Democrats keep taking our votes for granted.”
In the book, Obama was quoting a barber telling him about the political system in Chicago before the city elected Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor, in 1983. Immediately after the Christmas turkey line in the book, Obama quotes the barber as saying, “White folks spitting in our faces, and we’d reward ’em with the vote.”
The ad is running days before the special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, with Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel facing off in a tight race to fill the House seat left vacant by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Eric Beach, a co-chair of Great America Alliance, said the ad was an attempt to run something “outside the box” and that the group was trying to show “creatively” that Democrats have a history of failed promises.
Asked about the cut line, Beach said, “it’s like any ad, those are his words and we want to use his words and I’ll leave it at that.”
Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to President Obama, told CNN’s KFile: “This spot is a fraudulent use of President Obama’s voice. It is a shameful, indefensible tactic that should never be heard on the public airwaves. Deceptively using President Obama’s voice to suggest people sit out of the democratic process is a form of voter suppression and it not only signals weakness, it runs counter to our American values.”