It’s no surprise that a pro-Trump group is blatantly lying in a deceptive ad targeting Black voters in Georgia’s crucial special election on Tuesday.
The Washington Post reports that Great America Alliance PAC is running a radio ad in the Atlanta area that uses former President Barack Obama’s voice out of context, apparently to lure Black voters away from Democrats or to sit out this election.
Both parties are pouring record amounts of resources into the race widely viewed as a referendum on the Trump presidency. It pits Democrat Jon Ossoff against Republican Karen Handel for a vacant congressional seat. Georgia’s sixth congressional district has been a GOP stronghold for years, but Democrats have an opportunity to snatch it in a tight election.
The ad opens with conservative activist Autry Pruitt, a Black Trump supporter, identifying himself as “a fellow Black American.” He says the Democrats are suddenly interested in the community’s well-being because of the upcoming election. “Here’s what President Barack Obama had to say about it,” Pruitt says.
Next, listeners hear the former president’s voice:
“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 urges the district’s Black voters, who represent about 13 percent of the electorate, to “not sell out for another Christmas turkey.”
The President Obama clip is from the audio book version of his memoir, “Dreams From My Father.” In that passage, the former president quotes his African-American barber, named Smitty, who was explaining to him the racial politics of Chicago before the city elected its first Black mayor, Harold Washington, in 1983. Smitty told the future president that Democrats had too often taken the Black vote for granted.
PolitiFact, gave Great America Alliance a “Pants on Fire” for using President Obama’s words out of context. “Nothing in the section [from Obama’s book] suggests that he thinks Democrats today only pay attention to Blacks at election time,” PolitiFact stated.
Great America Alliance is doubling down. A spokesman for the group denied to PolitiFact that the clip is out of context.
Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to President Obama, told CNN that the ad is “fraudulent.”
He added that deceptively using the former president’s voice to persuade African-American voters stay at home is a form of voter suppression.