Just a day before voters in Georgia’s sixth congressional district will choose between underdog Democrat Jon Ossoff and Trump-supported Republican Karen Handel, former President Barack Obama jumped into the race to slam GOP efforts to suppress the vote.
Responding to an ad being run in Georgia by pro-Trump group Great America Alliance, which “fraudulently” uses Obama’s voice from the audio version of his book “Dreams From My Father,” a spokesman for the 44th president said the radio spot “is a shameful, indefensible tactic that should never be heard on the public airwaves.”
The full statement:
Full Obama spokesman comment: pic.twitter.com/a5OG1t6RrY
— Nathan McDermott (@natemcdermott) June 19, 2017
The response from Obama’s spokesman comes a day after it was reported that the former president’s voice was being used out of context to keep Democrats from voting.
The radio ad:
Despite the misleading commercial, the audio of Obama was actually the former president quoting somebody else – they weren’t his own words, despite the ad presenting them as such.
Voter suppression from Republicans is nothing new, of course. Without such tactics, whether it’s discouraging Democrats from turning out or simply forbidding them from doing so via state laws, Donald Trump probably wouldn’t be in the White House today.
The latest example in Georgia, in a district that Trump carried and that Republicans have controlled for decades, shows that the GOP is deeply concerned about losing what should be a guaranteed win for them.
But trying to use the popular former president to keep Democrats at home probably isn’t the best strategy for Republicans. Instead of discouraging progressive voters, it’s likely to motivate them even more.
In a race as close as the contest in Georgia, that could give Ossoff a last-minute boost in a neck-and-neck election.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.