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

GOP congresswoman hangs up on Obama - twice

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Richard

    He does come off like a telemarketer in his speeches–

    December 3, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Martin

    Keep waiting... because if your not going to accept Hawaii's birth-certificate, I don't know what to tell you.

    December 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. LFC


    You People are really ignorant. Obama snr left his wife and children in kenya to study in America, a fact he hid from Ann Dunham, Barack's mum. Why would he then take her to kenya to deliver her baby?

    You guys are just too eager to pin something negative on Obama and your argument smacks of desperation.

    December 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Duh

    Birth certificate? It's been posted on his website for over a year idiot conspiracy theorist who is naive enough to think someone who is not a US citizen could be elected president.

    December 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. Meh

    Repub of LA> My god. We've already seen it. Go read Snopes. com and get a life!

    December 3, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Angel

    I blame Palin

    December 3, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. Todd

    I'm not in the habit of defending Republicans, but who can blame her after the Palin prank calls?

    December 3, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. TB Melrose, FL

    Hey 'That's ok', that doesn't even make sense! Of course we've come to expect that from your wing, haven't we?

    December 3, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Rush Lameduck

    REPUB,you moron,please tell us when you do see his birth certificate,I bet you wont though.Have another beer.

    December 3, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. An Independent

    It sounds like she's either a bit paranoid or maybe has just been hanging around her neo-con colleagues for so long that she didn't realize that there are actually still people around that are civil and willing to talk with others that don't necessarily agree with them.

    I guess it's a good thing he didn't try to visit her in person or she might have attacked him because she was sure he had WMDs and was trying to destroy her district.

    December 3, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Ra

    Not worth commenting on, dump it in the trash can with the junk mail

    December 3, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Trevor in Ja

    @ Repub of LA

    I think you'll live out your natatural life and be disappointed if you refuse to accept what is already there. Will it be worth bothering yourself with his Birth Certificate

    December 3, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Excited for the future


    Put the tin foil on your head before the aliens read your thoughts. Some people have no common sense. Don't you think if his birth certificate wasn't real that the republicans would have jumped on it? Remember, just because the republican mantra is tell a lie long enough and people will believe it, it still doesn't mean it is true.

    December 3, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Flash Gorden /-\

    HA HA! Now THIS is funny! Guess they are all scared about being caught like Palin did with the guys from Canada!

    December 3, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. David

    This is not even newsworthy, but as usual if Obama is involved the liberal media will follow it. This is truly quite sad...

    December 3, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. Sly in Seattle

    HAHAHA! That is way to funny!

    December 3, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. henry

    Plain rude!

    December 3, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. Mark

    REPUB OF LA – You can go to, a non-partisan web site that verifies the misinformation provided by both parties. It has analyzed many Obama statements and declared them to either be true or false and they have done the same with many McCain statements too. The Obama birth certificate imaginary issue has been analyzed here (and on many other sites) and it has been concluded as just that – an imaginary issue.

    December 3, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. Marie

    Repub. Of LA.... (STILL WAITING TO SEE HIS REAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE!)don't hold your breath waiting because there is no other birth certificate.Where is yours and is it real.Go get a life because it sounds like you need one if all you can do is keep posting these silly questions about Obama's birth certificate He's about as real as a born american as your are that is if your really one...GEEZ some of you republicans are sorry losers

    December 3, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. Henry Ferry

    I would like to know the details of a story only she and the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee would know.

    It should also be pointed out that she misspelled both Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel in her office's official press release on the subject.

    ABC News reporting:

    Florida...PLEASE get your act together down there.

    December 3, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  21. Nannie Bouroughs

    I think I would hang up on Obama too, if he called me... how creepy!

    December 3, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. LC

    I hope she didn't get another call from Obama...

    December 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. steve

    all you republicans can go to hell!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. Brook Aker

    I fully understand the congresswoman's position. Has anyone ever thought about making it a crime to impersate a public official in prank phone calls. It's not funny... The Canadian thing with Palin was not funny, either.

    December 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  25. EJ (USA)

    funny stuff

    December 3, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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