January 21st, 2008
04:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Anti-Obama push-polling alleged in South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (CNN) - Supporters of Barack Obama in South Carolina said Monday that in the past day, black voters across the state have received biased polling phone calls, sometimes known as “push polls,” which they say are favorable to Hillary Clinton and distort Obama’s record.

Columbia city councilwoman Tamika Isaac Devine, an Obama supporter, said she received such a phone call Sunday night.

“[The caller] asked for the female in the household,” she told CNN, “then they asked my race.” Devine said the caller then launched into a series of positive statements about Clinton and negative statements about Obama, asking how each one affected her vote.

That included a direct comparison of Obama to President Bush. “They said that Barack Obama doesn’t want to be an operational president,” Devine recounted, “and they said he doesn’t want to manage things well, like George W. Bush.”

She said the calls also played on perceived African-American dislike of former President Ronald Reagan and Obama’s recent remarks about Reagan. “They asked, ‘Would you be more willing to vote for a candidate that thinks Ronald Reagan was a more transforming president than Bill Clinton?”

This comes after Obama told a newspaper that, “Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.”

On Saturday, the campaign sent reporters what it said was a recording of a Nevada robo-call received by a supporter, in which the caller repeatedly emphasized Obama’s middle name, Hussein, and said the senator lied when he said he did not take money from special interest groups and lobbyists.

State Rep. Todd Rutherford, an Obama supporter, said Monday the South Carolina campaign was receiving reports of similar calls.

–CNN Radio Correspondent Lisa Desjardins

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. howiejam

    We want real CHANGE no more slander, no lies. PLEASE!! America needs this!
    Thats my two cents.. one love!

    January 21, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. v.ananthan


    January 21, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. K Argo

    Why Dont we demand as citizens and voters that all candidates for federal
    and state political office be investigated by the FBI, for background and activities
    from adult to applying for office.
    We must fill out a request that is subject to scrutiny and verification, so must all civil service and military applicants. Further,
    we should demand that none take any donations from lobbyist.

    When can our vote count rather than the electorial college choosing our winner?
    Thank you for directing this to all the candidates for President.

    January 21, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. LJ

    A person that "fights dirty", will eventually sweep their dust under the carpet when it begins to pile up. Referring to Ms Clinton – her negativity negates what she claims to be a move toward positive change. She is her own contradiction. Her style is one of strongarm, potshots, and powerplays. She is like the teacher that reminds her students all day what they will and won't do in HER CLASSROOM.

    Obama, on the other hand, has the same effect as a teacher who gives his students ownership of the classroom, thereby inspiring their desire for sucess.

    January 21, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. andy

    What does the picture prove?

    January 21, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. Chester

    I am for Obama all the way because he is telling the truth on his issues,
    While clinton seem too not tell the truth on her issues.

    January 21, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  7. Erin

    Obama Volunteer = Clinton Volunteer. Thanks for the photoshop and keeping Clinton politics alive. Your scum cannot reach a low point.

    January 21, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  8. Collins

    This has gotten out of hand. The Clinton team will result to almost anything. I am starting to think that they are evil. Nuff said.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. Julia, California

    I am shocked by the smears and dirty words against Hillary and Bill. They have been attacked again and again since Day One. But they are strong and still going and going. Would you have a strong leader, or someone so inexperienced? If Obama is a tested and proven leader, I will vote him, too. But he is not. He needs to grow up. We are electing a president who can do America and Americans good in tough times, not a scholoar!

    January 21, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. Phil

    WOW, Volunteer, the moderators must have fallen asleep for that to have gotten by them. This truly shows a side of their "chosen one" that they would not want people to see, if that is even a real picture. Looks a bit altered to me, and does not even look like Obama. I am not an Obama supporter, but that picture is a stretch even for me.

    January 21, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. e

    yes for OBAMA he could the best President the US.

    January 21, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  12. k

    Sen OBAMA is very strong when to face Repuplicain he is very smart good.he is not running for black only but all.

    January 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Let's not forget that John Adams represented the
    British soldiers after the Boston Massacre & they were
    acquitted!!! Perhaps Barack Obama's situation was
    similar when he represented those businessmen in Chicago.

    January 21, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  14. shortcake72

    Tonight's debate was exhilerating. I am convinced that Obama is our man. He displays honesty and character. Unlike Hillary who repeatedly try to discount him.

    People of America open your eyes and see the truth. Both Hillary and Pres. Clinton's desire is to return to the white house which is not happening.

    We are intelligent enough to see the plots, plans, and schemes set up by the Clintons.

    Go Obama! I support you all the way.

    January 21, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. Linda

    I believe the people of South Carolina, no matter what their race or gender, can remember a past president who went on TV and looked America straight in the face and told the American people a bold face lie. I lived in South Carolina at the time and worked for the United States Air Force. I believed the man-as a proud American citizen I did not believe our President would do that if it were not true. I was fooled then but won't be fooled again!!!

    January 21, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  16. Linda

    If Obama does not get the nomination I will vote independent!!!!!!!

    January 21, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. Phil G

    Anyone who is familiar with or has become familiar with the Clintons' tactics knows what we are up against. This is why after a debate like tonight, you need to continue pledging (either through donations or getting the word out) your support for Obama. CNN gives Hilary more favorable camera time after each debate. Understand, she is far more in line with corporate interests, and so this is going to be the case EVERY TIME. She is part of the machine.

    Obama has not willingly been involved in any mudslinging. He has no choice but to respond to these inaccurate and ridiculous allegations. The term "slum lord" is a nice sound byte that the Clintons know will get air time. They know suggesting that Obama sat along the sidelines for 130 or so bills will be discussed. Obama was as masterful in this debate as he could have been. He says everything I have been waiting to hear for at least a decade. Yet all the media wanted to talk about after the debate was how they were going after each other.

    Seriously, the only way to beat the Hilary Machine is to build a stronger one. We've got the best person in Barack, but to match up we've still got to provide a lot of support. We need to do every little thing we can to put Barack Obama in the White House.

    January 21, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. DAME


    January 21, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  19. v.cifaldi&paul


    January 21, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  20. King

    If Edwards doesn't get the nomination I will vote Republican (Ron Paul), probably a wasted vote. Unfortunately I think the U.S. and the world are both tired of having a white male president screw things up. It's not popular to be a white male anymore.

    January 21, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  21. ptabronco

    I for one will vote for the best candidate to win the democratic nomination and also the American Presidency and that person is Hillary Clinton...

    January 21, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  22. Eric

    Of course Obama did lie when he said he does not take lobbying money. Push polls are bad but he should tell the truth.

    January 21, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  23. Jay

    IF McCain wins the rep. nomination, he will be able to attrack independents, and maybe some democrates.

    So let see who will be the best democratic candidate to beat McCain.

    1. Hillary does not attrack independents and republicans.

    2. John Edwards, well I donot know which block he is attacking.

    3. Barack Obama, attracks independents, republicans

    Democate can only beat the republicans by attracking independents

    January 21, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. Patty, somewhere

    I see everyone is rushing to the hate Hillary comments again without even knowing the veracity of the calls. This is South Carolina remember and all the robocalls that republicans put out on behalf of Huckabee. If SC has as dirty politics as has been reported, then might we assume as a good as blame Hillary, that some republicans aren't funding this knowing that the blame would be flung immediately at Hillary. I honestly can't see the Clinton campaign stooping to this level of robocalls when people have been able to trace other robocalls to the company doing them or who has been paying. The Clintons may be shrewd campaigners but they are not stupid ones.

    January 22, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. kent

    As for Bill Clinton
    ,. "his speech is as smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords (Psalm 55:21)."

    January 22, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
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