Dirtiest Campaign Trick

Obama: Smearing Clinton—Via Indian-Americans
Obama claims he doesn’t do dirty politics, but there is at least oneglaring exception: In June 2007, Obama’s campaign circulated to themedia a memo, meant to be off the record, criticizing HillaryClinton’s relationship with Indian businesses and Indian-Americandonors. The Clinton camp got hold of it and made it public. Intendedto highlight Clinton’s backing of companies that outsource jobs, thedocument also insulted many Indian-Americans, who thought it impliedthat their money and businesses were somehow tainted. One headline— “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)’s Personal Financial and PoliticalTies to India” — bluntly suggested that Clinton was so beholdento Indian interests that she practically represented them in theSenate. “The memo couldn’t have been more ill-timed,” wrote theDaily News. “Obama angered the richest and best-educated ofAmerica’s immigrant communities just as they are starting to flextheir considerable political muscle for the first time in apresidential election.” Obama claims he wasn’t aware of the memo andapologized for its existence, telling the Des Moines Registerthat he thought it was “stupid and caustic.”

Romney: Deceptive Anti-Obama Ad
Mitt Romney’s firstcampaign commercial of the 2011 campaign shows President Obamasaying: “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”Great soundbite — except that it was taken from a 2008 clip inwhich Obama is actually quoting a John McCain spokesman. The actualquote was: “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘Ifwe keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”

Confronted over the deception, the Romney campaign provided several explanations: Obama did say those actual words; Obama has been negative before, so he’s hypocritical to complain; and “ads are propaganda by definition. They are manipulative pieces of persuasiveart.”

Dirtiest Campaign Trick