According to The Hill, Obama's legal team says it intends to take legal action over an ad that suggests Obama once criticized Biden for harming and taking advantage of the black community. The spot was created by pro-Trump super PAC The Committee to Defend the President as part of a $25,000 ad buy.
"Joe Biden promised to help our community," the narrator says at the beginning of the ad. "It was a lie: Here’s President Obama."
We then hear audio of Obama reading a passage from his 1995 book Dreams From My Father, in which he quotes a Chicago barber who reflects on the "plantation politics" that plagued the city.
"Plantation politics: Black people in the worst jobs, the worst housing, police brutality rampant," Obama is heard saying. "But when the so-called black committee-men came around election time, we’d all line-up and vote the straight Democratic ticket, sell our souls for a Christmas turkey."
The ad is being aired in South Carolina, which will hold its Democratic Primary this Saturday.
"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," Katie Hill, Obama's communications director, said in a written statement. "In the interest of truth in advertising, we are calling on TV stations to take this ad down and stop playing into the hands of bad actors who seek to sow division and confusion among the electorate."
Obama's team says they plan to send a cease-and-desist letter to the super PAC.
South Carolina is considered a must-win for Biden, who has failed to win a Democratic voting contest during the presidential primary. The former vice president once led the state polls almost 30 percent; however, a recent CBS News/YouGov poll shows his approval rating among South Carolina's black voters, who make up about 60 percent of the state's Democratic primary electorate, has drastically declined since the fall.