December 4th, 2008
08:18 AM ET
5 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.

Watch: Ros-Lehtinen hangs up on Obama

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
soundoff (576 Responses)
  1. Thankful 4 Obama-Goodbye GW Riddance

    To MIZZ Theresa Jones
    Thats President Obama, not Mr. Obama. And even tho you would hang up on him, he is such a strong leader, & morally rich person, he would actually take the time to speak to you, despite your ignorance. Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest President. He will get us out of the recession Bush created. That you should be thankful for, not hating on him. Grow up.

    December 4, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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