July 30th, 2008
06:36 AM ET
14 years ago

AFL-CIO launches campaign to dispel Obama rumors

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/29/art.rumors.cnn.jpg caption="A new AFL-CIO mailer seeks to dispel continued false rumors about Obama."]

(CNN) - The nation's largest labor conglomerate says it's set to launch a major effort Tuesday to dispel ongoing rumors surrounding Barack Obama that continue to percolate more than 18 months after the Illinois senator launched his White House bid.

The organization is set to send out mailers to more than 600,000 union homes in crucial battleground states - including Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - that directly address the false rumors that he is not a Christian, refuses to wear a flag pin on his lapel, and was not sworn into the Senate on the Bible.

It also beats back claims the Democratic presidential candidate was not born in America and refuses to put his hand on his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. (view the mailer [PDF])

A majority of AFL-CIO's membership is considered part of the working-class demographic - the key voting bloc that overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton in the prolonged Democratic primary race and is likely to play a key role in the battleground states this November.

Watch: Obama battles rumors online

The AFL-CIO is also sending out a second mailer that features testimonials for union workers in support of Obama's policies on job creation, health care reform, and worker's rights. (View the second mailer [PDF])

"The mailers are the leading edge of a massive campaign in August to clearly define Sen. Obama among millions of union voters and to contrast the policies and plans of Sen. Obama with those of Sen. [John] McCain," AFL-CIO spokesman Steve Smith said.

That massive campaign will include a large-scale mobilization effort in 24 states, targeting 13 million union voters. The organization will also deliver more than 1 million fliers touting Obama's record at work sites across the country in August.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. Dave C - NJ

    Good for them. There are STILL idiots on here that call Obama a muslim. Most of them cannot spell, however it's still annoying.

    July 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. James Hussein, SC

    gerry July 29th, 2008 3:09 pm ET

    And now the real campaign starts.

    Let's see if people can learn to become more objective and NOT follow faux news like sheep.

    Both candidates have strong and weak points, but some of the media heads have been influencing the public way too much.

    July 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Minnesota Voter

    As a Hillary Supporter, I don't think Obama and his supporters get it. If people don't know Obama by now, they don't want to. It's that simple. I am now supporting McCain.

    July 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Phineas J. Whoopie, you're the greatest! Come along, Chumly.

    So, how are they paying for this lovely endeavor? They aren't using Union Dues, are they? If so, shouldn't this practice be illegal?

    I mean, in order to work in some states (the nearly-dead, practically-empty Rust Belt states to be specific), you are often required to join a union. In order to join the union, you have to contribute periodic dues to said union. The union in turn, takes these "free" dues and contributes them to a candidate of the union bosses' choosing, regardless of how the individual union members feel about said candidate... many of whom would never donate to, nor support, said candidate.

    This practice has the effect of requiring workers to endorse and financially support a political candidate, simply in order to keep their jobs with the union. I believe there is a term for this practice and it's called extortion.

    If this practice is not illegal, it should be. Adams and Jefferson would be rolling in their graves.

    July 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Sick of Republican Tactics!

    Isn't it funny how there aren't any horrible rumors about McSame??? That's cuz Barrack don't play that way. Only the Democrats get avalanched with these rumors! Can't people see how these Republicans work?? They take the focus off how bad they always run the country by scaring the public from voting Democrat by spreading false rumors about them. I'm sick of Republican tactics!

    July 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Rita

    I honestly wonder, just how the wounded veterans will vote?

    July 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. cindy

    McCain claims that he is a 'mavrick', but in every way he is showing that he will embrace typical negative/Karl Rove tactics to win at all costs. And to what end? Just so that we can continue an endless occupation in Iraq? He tells us he knows nothing about the economy. Aren't we tired of more of the same McCain. Turn the page.

    July 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. Can't believe it

    I want to know who these people are that believe these fictitious rumors. Are they really that dumb to believe an e-mail or maybe a friend of theirs? If so, don't vote because you don't deserve that right.

    July 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. virtual in Georgia

    The right wing nuts who help perpetuate the lies will undoubtedly respond with a counter initiative in those battle ground states. If any one thought for one minute that this was going to be a civil and respectable campaign only has to look at John McCain’s latest ad.

    It’s going to get nasty folks – hold on to your seat belts and pray that Obama does not get pulled into the gutter with John and the neocons as that will only play into their hands.

    Oh, what a country!

    July 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. michael

    Great idea...Since there are so many people who have misconceptions about Senator Obama.

    July 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. bill s

    It is time for the working men and women to support
    Barack Obama. The republican party has sold us
    done the river.

    July 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. William, from Cali!

    Some people will still not believe it, so save that "Union money" and use it for something more meaniful!....................... or to save people's homes..........................

    July 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Karen

    People really believe that stuff? It's like all you have to do is SAY you are a Christian, wear flag pins, and suddenly you are better than everyone else. I just don't get it.

    July 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. BKoi

    The alternative is John McCain. If the American people are sick of what is going on in their country, if they ever expect it to change, if they believe they are still the greatest country in the world, there is only ONE choice, Barack Obama. I am a Canadian, and he had me at hello.

    July 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. Mohammed

    The fact that they actually have to send out stuff like that lets you know how dumb people in this country can be my god

    July 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Obama/Clinton '08

    The real campaign starts when the Democrats put forth someone with EXPERIENCE. Obama talks the talk but does America want to RISK him not talking the talk? He can have all the photo ops necessary with those with knowledge and he won't convince me he knows enough when to take or not take advice. McCain's been there and done so much of the good 'that' ..if you peel away all the rhetoric promoted by organizations like the AFL-CIO and CNN, ask yourself one question – when was it last we had a candidate for President with over 20 yrs of the RIGHT type of experience?

    McCain doesn't just talk the talk, he's invented talking the walk. Age is a mindset. I wanted Hillary because of her EXPERIENCE and if Obama picks another INEXPERIENCED person as his running mate, it's NO WAY OBAMA-KAINE and say hello to McCain-Romney!

    July 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. jr

    Seems that the money would be better spent protecting the jobs of their membership or on job retraining programs rather then on a politicians empty promises of returning manufacturing jobs that are never going to come back. Union members should be up in arms about this misuse of thier dues.

    July 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. j brunner

    who cares.

    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Ex-Republican for Obama

    We're taking our country back!

    For all those who absolutely despise Obama, if he is elected I challenge you to LEAVE the USA forEVER. We don't need your kind here. It's ok to prefer McCain and vote for him, but if you won't accept whom a majority of America puts in the White House, then you should vacate this nation based on your principals. PUMA should be the first to go, I will even pay for the ONE WAY flight of the first documented PUMA punk that decides to leave.

    Obama '08

    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. popeye

    Good on them.
    The only problem is, many of the same people that want to believe the lies about Obama also despise unions.
    Not sure their message will convince the intended target audience.

    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. kay

    That is the only way they can campaign. They trust their ignorant supported will always believe there lies… while they make themselves rich and cronnies. Remember folks Bush was the GOD and Kerry the Devil.

    They are at it again… Folk look and see the truth… Republicans are liars. Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies and more lies. They can not state what they want to do for American

    Republicans are War, Fear and Hate mongers. That is what what you guys are otherwise state what McCain is going to do than look for the next War

    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. H


    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Emma

    It is truly sad that the American electorate is still illiterate when it comes to politics. How can an American not take the time to find out about the candidates running and not allow a commercial to decide their vote.

    It makes me mad and sad to see how we call ourselves patriotic and refuse to educate ourselves about the presidential candidates. This is sheer laziness...................

    America, get off of your a- – es and educate yourself politically and stop taking what the Republicans are spoon feeding you.

    If you don't educate yourself, you deserve to remain in poverty and be afraid that a black man will lead this country honorably. Move your thinking into the 21st century, you and your family deserve the move!

    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Veteran for McCain

    Who cares about the AFL-CIO? They want Obama elected so they can keep their union jobs where they get away with doing the least amount of work for the most pay and then pay zero for their healthcare. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the upcoming Verizon negotiations. Hopefully Verizon will stand their ground!!!!

    July 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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