Ex-President Barack Obama has injected himself in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary to condemn a pro-Trump super PAC, something he seemed otherwise loathed to do, at least publicly. (NBC News)
“[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,” Katie Hill, Obama’s communications director, told NBC News.
Despite Obama’s aggressive defense of his vice president’s reputation, he stopped well short of offering an endorsement. Insiders are all but certain he’ll continue to appear as neutral as possible until the Democratic Party has chosen their nominee.
“President Obama has several friends in this race, including, of course, his own esteemed Vice President,” Hill said. “He has said he has no plans to endorse in the primary because he believes that in order for Democrats to be successful this fall, voters must choose their nominee.”
Dan Backer, a lawyer for the PAC, said, “I’d say we’re disinclined to comply with the erroneous legal reasoning of a letter I haven’t even seen.”
Backer, a campaign finance expert, promises to remain defiant.
As for the ad, Backer told NBC News that it’s Obama’s voice “reading the words he wrote in the context he wrote them. It’s absolutely accurate and truthful and correct.”
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