AFL-CIO Mailing Seeks to Dispel Obama Rumors

By James Gerber

Jul 29, 2008 4:43pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and James Gerber Report: The AFL-CIO has sent out a mail piece to "600,000 union swing voters’ households" seeking to dispel rumors about Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., regarding the American flag, the Bible, Christianity, whether he was born in the U.S., and whether he puts his hand over his heart for the pledge of allegiance.

The front of the flier reads, "Have questions about Barack Obama? See inside for answers."

The mailing then provides short rebuttals to a variety of false rumors about the presumptive Democratic nominee.  It reads:

Q: "Does he wear a flag pin?"
A: "Yes, but not always. Like many presidential candidates, sometimes he wears a flag pin, sometimes he wears a breast cancer awareness pin, sometimes he wears his U.S. Senate membership pin and other times he wears no pin at all."

Q: "Is he a Christian?"
A: "Yes. He is a committed Christian. In 1985, he began working as a community organizer with a Christian church-based group seeking to improve the living conditions in poor Chicago neighborhoods."

Q: "Was he sworn in on the Bible?"
A: "Yes. Barack Obama took the oath of office on his personal family bible. It was Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison who was sworn in on the Koran."

Q: "Was he born in America?"
A: "Yes. Barack Obama’s birth certificate indicates he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961, at 7:24 P.M."

Q: "Does he place his hand over his heart when he says the pledge?"
A: "Yes. Barack Obama always places his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance."

A second, more conventional mail piece, touts Obama’s record on jobs, health care, and workers’ rights.

The mail is going out to union voters in the battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The strategy of confronting the rumors head-on mirrors the Obama campaign’s decision to launch a website that performs a similar service, called Fight the Smears.

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