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. Wisconsin

    It's sad that the republicans can play this game and that their are that many stupid Americans who believe McSame and his republican crap.

    July 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. College student for OBAMA from MA

    Very smart idea no MCSURGE he needs to leave us alone he cant even talk with out getting angry he is a retarted.

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Trey J.

    I know you won't print this but "Dammit are we as Americans stupid"! Do we not read or listen to the news!
    It's a shame that folks have to spend money to kill these rumors. I hate to say it but I think a lot of people are just looking for a reason to not vote for him. Those that still believe he's Muslim (not that anything is wrong with that) or he won't wear a US Flag on his lapel are really hiding their real feeling prejudice!
    OK America he's a black man we get it but gosh we had a fool in office for 8 years and look at what it got us.
    The rest of the world is watching us! Can we finally go back to being a country others respect!

    July 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Bob Texas

    I think this is a great ideal. I get these muslim emails weekly. The GOP and swift boat at its best.

    July 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    A noble effort that will be wasted money on a disturbingly large percentage of voters. Any straw that says don't vote for Obama they will grab on to, despite the fact that the straw is full of holes and cannot hold water.

    Most black politicians seeking higher offices plan a strategy that does not include about 20% of their constituents, on average. No votes will ever come their way from that segment no matter how good they are. They target the remaining 80%, instead.

    This effort is aimed at that 20%. Are you, the reader, part of that 20%?

    July 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. NoMcSame

    America works best when it says union YES. Teamster for Obama. No brain supports McSame. Bring our jobs home. No Mexican trucks on our roads.

    July 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Rick FL

    Thank you AFL-CIO

    Too many Republicans these days resort to the usual fears & smears with Rovian-style lies, which caused many of us to leave the Republican Party. Sadly, McCain appears to be taking a similar approach even though he promised a respectful campaign. If this is considered "respectful" so far, one could only imagine a version of disrespectful.
    TRUTH matters.

    Obama '08

    July 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. wait a minute

    I hope to see a rumor that says all lobbysts will be barred from having any access to our Congress members.

    The people should have more access to our representatives than lobbysts do.

    July 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. simon

    I will make very brief comment since I am not US citizen by only saying this – obama would be fantastic speech writter but if you mute you tv and look his eyes (remember eyes speak all languages in the world) clearly you can't trust him, he is treating american people as dummmies without explaining his radical relationships .........I don't trust obama

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

    admiral, impressive, inspiring. i'm reminded once again of the old saying, "if we all do a little we can accomplish a lot.
    thanks to the AFL-CIO for dispelling fear. we've lived long enough with that state of mind.

    July 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. Jay

    I think Obama will do just fine in Michigan and Ohio with the help of the Unions. Obama can re invigorate Motown with the green revolution coming down the pike. I don't think they want to vote for someone that says that the jobs aren't coming back.

    July 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Sammy

    Rumors are often impossible to overcome in the Internet age. By now the only people that still believe some of the more outlandish Obama rumors do so only because they want to believe it regardless of the lack of any credible information. I mean really, if being born in America was not a legal requirement to be president the Republicans would have drafted Arnold from the very beginning... and I would vote for him. Thing is, I cant think of a good presidential match to 'governator'.

    July 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. KMAN

    That's good news considering that McCain is an absolute LIAR and will stoop to anything to win! This is the same man ( I use the term loosely) who proudly vowed to run a clean campaign. I'm left wondering just when the old war-monger from AZ is going to start his clean and honest campaign ... it hasn't emerged so far. My guess is never, since he is anything but a straight-talker!

    July 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Kim - NE

    It's high time something such as this is made public. All day long, I have to respond to emails after having searched snopes.com for validation that the silly rumors are false.

    July 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. JoseyJ

    Obama wasn't sworn into the Senate with a Bible.
    Congress members are not sworn in with any religious book.
    The religious books only appear in staged photographs AFTER the swearing-in ceremony of all new members.

    July 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. sarah

    it is amazing how much time money and effort has to be spent on dispelling rumors about obama. why cant they just accept that we the people do not agree with his extreme ideals, empty rhetoric, lousy judgement, and nasty arrogance. NO it must be those evil republicans spreading heinous lies about his most perfect highness. give up we wont vote for this bozo.

    July 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Adriana Birmingham, AL

    Good, I hope it works but I think people believe what they want to believe no matter how much evidence you have.

    July 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. rachel

    Isnt that so sweet.

    July 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. atypical

    correction to my first post: I said "admiral" but meant to say admirable. sorry.

    July 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. gerry

    And now the real campaign starts.

    July 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. JA Cook

    What a day we'd be seeing when truth prevails and lies and liars fail.

    I have hope!

    July 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Eric

    Can't stop them from being optimistic, but the 12% who still think Obama is a muslim, while at the same time attacking him for going to Wright's church, are simply idiots. No campaign can bring light to their dead brain.

    July 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Mr C

    I, like most Americans wish that these smear campaigns stop so that the real issues that is facing us can be addressed- ECONOMY!!! This is starting to look like the kinda campaign you see in third world countries.

    July 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Fran

    If he holds his hand over his heart when the national anthem is played, how do you explain the pictures of him doing so (or in the case not doing it)? The other two candidates have their hand on their hearts, but he hold his hands below his waist. I also saw him on Jay Leno explaining why he did not wear the flag pin. It was on national tv stated by him personally. How can you now deny this? It was only after attention was brought to these two things, did he begin.

    July 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Toni - Atlanta

    I like it!

    July 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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