December 3rd, 2008
07:37 PM ET
6 years ago

GOP congresswoman hangs up on Obama - twice

Above: Pre-election Obama makes a slightly smoother call.
Above: Pre-election Obama makes a slightly smoother call.

WASHINGTON (CNN) –A Florida congresswoman – convinced she was being prank-called by a Barack Obama sound-alike – hung up on the actual president-elect Wednesday.

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was told by an aide that Obama wanted to speak with her. According to a statement released by her office, the Republican congresswoman cut off the caller, telling him she thought “this is a joke from one of the South Florida radio stations known for these pranks.” She then hung up.

Obama’s future White House chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel – a fellow congressman – then called her to let her know she’d actually been speaking with the future commander-in-chief. Ros-Lehtinen, convinced the call was another hoax, hung up on him, too.

Finally, an aide told Ros-Lehtinen she had an urgent call from Chairman Howard Berman, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Still suspicious, Ros-Lehtinen urged the California Democrat to recount a story only both of them would know.

Berman passed the test - and told her she had, in fact, hung up on President-elect Obama.

When an amused Obama called again, Ros-Lehtinen he was either “very gracious” to reach across the aisle by contacting her, or “had run out of folks to call, if you are truly calling me.” Otherwise, she said, Saturday Night Live “could use a good Obama impersonator like you.” The Obama transition team declined comment on the incident.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton also spoke with Ros-Lehtinen by phone, relatively uneventfully.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra
soundoff (377 Responses)
  1. dibick99

    WELL, SHE'S NOT TOO BRIGHT ANYWAY. IN 8 YEARS SHE'S VOTED ALONG WITH BUSH ALMOST 100%.

    December 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  2. Mark

    Well, I have never been a fan of this woman, and now even less so. I have never seen her with anything intelligent and substantive to say. I hope she gets voted out soon, especially now that Florida is a BLUE state.

    December 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  3. Jim

    Oh boy, the liberal media making something out of nothing again. The sick, stupid and crazy left never will get it. They are just sheep following the lion to slaughter. I can't wait until it blows up in their face and they go around running and asking "how could of this happened"?

    Idiots.....period.

    December 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. Sam

    Hell, I would've hung up on him 3 times if thats would it would've taken to get rid of this moron.

    Who cares.....he nothing more then a bought and paid for "political correct" hire by the dems / communists and their blind followers.

    December 4, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. Pennie Johnson

    Poor baby. Palin's got them all skittish after her "Sarkozy" episode.

    December 4, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  6. yvesanthony

    America is beautiful. America is unique. It's vry interesting to see people voice teir opinion by posting a comment. The negative comments is minime comparing to the positive ones. That, it's telling you, america is unique and race is an affair of the past. This is a new america. For you who posted a positive comment, your effort is not in vain, I believe you are already educated one or more of those reculant
    bloggers who refused to admit the truth.

    December 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  7. Rob

    What a moron

    December 4, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  8. Stephy

    LOL!!!!
    that is funny after all!
    But still she should apologize... (which is nowhere mentionned)

    December 4, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  9. leilani

    It's too bad this woman couldn't have been as mistrustful of Bush and Cheney when they said there were WMD in Iraq as she is of Obama saying he is Obama. It might have saved us all a lot of trouble as well as the lives of over four thousand American soldiers in Iraq.

    December 4, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. SD Demo

    It is easy to see how this could happen, but Ros-Lehtinen is also an all-around jerk with nothing going for her other than her virulent anti-Castroism. I hope Obama was calling to tell her our policy toward Cuba was about to change.

    December 4, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  11. Jaye

    This is so funny!!!
    This congresswoman didn't want to look like idiot Palin. LOL

    December 4, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  12. Kevin

    WOW PEOPLE IT WAS A MISTAKE. OBAMA CAN TAKE IT LIKE A MAN

    December 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. Marie Cash

    Lighten up people. This is a funny story.

    December 4, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  14. george

    I wonder why the likes of Patrick are talking about being a Kenyan or African or Americans. Are you guys loosing your brain cells so much that you keep categorizing human beings on racial lines?

    December 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  15. Alexander

    On the contrary– she probably thought she was important enough to be pranked the way Sarah Palin was.

    December 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  16. tHE gREAT gAZOO

    Hello, dumb-dumb.

    December 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  17. exomike

    It's no big deal, she hangs up on all black people.

    December 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  18. Erik in Iowa City

    Is this news? It's somewhat amusing, but do we need to document every instance of Obama's pre-presidency?

    December 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  19. irishny

    Lighten up people,its perfectly understandable.Shes a republican congresswoman from Florida.If i was her i would have hung up too. Id be thinking why would the president elect call me?

    There are numerous radio stations out there,who do make these sort of prank calls,so its hardly surprising some people would be distrusting.

    Give the woman a break!

    December 4, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  20. J, MN

    that's funny. I understand her being skeptical.

    December 4, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  21. Ricky Rodriguez

    She is my representative. I voted against her. She is a Bush puppet. Neo-Con. This was hilarious. She is nice though although i disagree with her war mongering fascist ideas.

    December 4, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  22. Jerry

    Wait! What's that noise?? Oh, it's only President Elect Obama moving to the right now that he has bagged the presidency. He IS as smart as they say he is!!
    Wait: What's that noise?? Oh, it's only the left wing gasping for air.

    December 4, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  23. Julian, AZ

    Common guys and ladies...give this lady a break! Repub or not she just thought it was a prankl just like I would. Yeah! Barack has been elected and I voted for him, but if I get a phone saying Barack is on the line...believe me I will demand some sort of prove.......after all why out of the millions is he calling me personally?

    doug.....!!!!! must sound like a Christma joke.....Santa coming to town tonight!!

    December 4, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  24. John

    Barack Obama is a citizen of the United States......................................
    Even most rightwing groups that have been critical of Obama's plans
    don't use that. (check Factcheck.org which did a very good piece on this contrive BS) As for Congresswoman Lehithen she has been on
    Bill Mahr's show and seem like a reasonable person. I give her a break as a supporter of President elect Obama because really this seems to be a non issue and folks we need to deal with real tough
    issues like (the economy,war on terror and etc)

    December 4, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  25. static

    Pulling a dialysis machine along??? Ya, that's how it works...

    I think it's funny everyone always says, "why can't they find this tall guy with a dialysis machine." Like he's actually hooked up to a dialysis machine 24/7...

    True they should be doing more about finding him, but I just find that hilarious.

    December 4, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
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