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Dirtiest Campaign Trick

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Obama: Smearing Clinton—Via Indian-Americans
Obama claims he doesn’t do dirty politics, but there is at least one glaring exception: In June 2007, Obama’s campaign circulated to the media a memo, meant to be off the record, criticizing Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Indian businesses and Indian-American donors. The Clinton camp got hold of it and made it public. Intended to highlight Clinton’s backing of companies that outsource jobs, the document also insulted many Indian-Americans, who thought it implied that their money and businesses were somehow tainted. One headline — “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)'s Personal Financial and Political Ties to India” — bluntly suggested that Clinton was so beholden to Indian interests that she practically represented them in the Senate. “The memo couldn't have been more ill-timed,” wrote the Daily News. “Obama angered the richest and best-educated of America's immigrant communities just as they are starting to flex their considerable political muscle for the first time in a presidential election.” Obama claims he wasn’t aware of the memo and apologized for its existence, telling the Des Moines Register that he thought it was “stupid and caustic.”

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


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