Faced with a crowded Democratic primary field and a range of ideas on how best to move the country forward, former President Barack Obama has taken careful steps not to reveal which candidate he hopes to see take on President Donald Trump in November.
While Obama has yet to endorse anyone, he recently warned a pro-Trump super PAC that he doesn't want his likeness or words used to tarnish his former Vice President, 2020 candidate Joe Biden.
The ad, made by The Committee to Defend the President, takes words from Obama's audiobook Dreams from My Father: a Story of Race and Inheritance, in a passage mentioning "plantation politics" and Democrats who take Black voters for granted.
Dreams from My Father was published in 2005, but the ad is framed to imply that Obama is discussing his former Vice President.
Here is the disgusting piece of crap radical right-wing, "Committee to Defend the President", aired in SC. It's fak… https://t.co/pfnmzoFuiO— KenPacNW (@KenPacNW)1582811079.0
Obama's lawyers soon issued a cease and desist letter to the super PAC, writing:
"This unauthorized use of President Obama's name, image, likeness, voice and book passage is 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."
The letter goes on to warn:
"To this end, the Committee to Defend the President must immediately remove this ad ... further the Committee to Defend the President must agree on behalf of itself and all affiliated entities to refrain from future misuse of President Obama's intellectual property or right of publicity."
The ad is set to air across South Carolina, where Biden is currently leading and which has a large Black voting population.
People largely agreed that the tactics from the Committee to Defend the President were sleazy to say the least.
More dirty politics in South Carolina. Obama demands pro-Trump group cease and desist using his voice to attack J… https://t.co/e7CbVwXVi9— Stephanie Kennedy (@Stephanie Kennedy)1582812388.0
@thehill @democrat2theend Wow can Pubs win without cheating?They really R after Biden. I so wish both Biden & Trump… https://t.co/vJrIJZMRjZ— Faith Shields (@Faith Shields)1582810656.0
@thehill GOP is unable to win fairly so they cheat at every opportunity.— MiMiTo5 (@MiMiTo5)1582809753.0
@thehill @ChrisCuomo There are tricks and there are dirty tricks— william 🏴 (@william 🏴)1582812106.0
@CNN Lay the law down Mr. President Obama— Roselyn Warren3 (@Roselyn Warren3)1582768226.0
@thehill Dirty Republican's, can't win without cheating— Sunshine (@Sunshine)1582775282.0
@CNN Republicans cheating. #dumpgop— Carlglo (@Carlglo)1582770321.0
It's unclear whether or not the super PAC will pull the ads off the air, especially with the South Carolina primary only two days away.
It is, however, a sign of things to come as the 2020 election draws nearer.
For a Republican strategist's advice on how best to beat Trump, check out Running Against the Devil, available here.