Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders just became the most recent hopeful to release an ad featuring former President Barack Obama despite Obama’s pledge not to endorse anyone, and Sanders’ spot is deceptively edited.
After a disastrous Super Tuesday, Sanders released an ad that cobbles together positive things that President Obama has said about Sanders in the past, but almost no video footage of Obama actually speaking.
Bernie was basically the only candidate who didn’t run an Obama is my bff ad. After getting wiped out in the South, he releases this ad the next day. (in one SC ad, he had a shot of them together but it wasn’t like this) pic.twitter.com/JNgtFb0q26
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) March 4, 2020
That last shot, in which Obama says “That’s right, feel the Bern!”, is from his 2016 Democratic National Convention speech, right after he’d told the crowd to vote straight up and down the Democratic ticket — which included then-nominee Hillary Clinton.
The shot was enough to fool several media outlets who pegged the speech as the source of the quotes that preceded it — while others simply didn’t try to identify them — but in fact, those quotes weren’t even made by President Obama.
The first part of the ad, during which Obama says “Bernie is somebody who has the virtue of saying exactly what he believes” and praises Bernie’s “great authenticity” and “great passion” comes from a January 2016 podcast interview with Glenn Thrush, during which he diplomatically praised both then-candidates for the Democratic nomination — and in which Obama notes he doesn’t know Sanders as well as he knows Clinton.
But the part Sanders knitted together with that clip from the 2016 DNC is actually made up of quotes from Senator Barack Obama, when he campaigned for Sanders’ Senate bid on March 10, 2006. The snippets were cut out of a segment in which Obama ribbed Sanders about his off-the-rack couture, and offered the praise quoted in the ad for Sanders and Peter Welch.
The video footage is freely available, yet Sanders’ ad team chose to play the quotes over other images, then tack on the clip from 2016. The result — regardless of the fairly obvious intent — is a deceptive impression that then-Senator Obama’s praise for Sanders and Welch was delivered much more recently, and for Sanders alone.
Watch Bernie’s ad above, via Bernie Sanders for President.
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