An Actual Press Release from the Office of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida

Dec 3, 2008 6:30pm

Verbatim.

And yes, her office misspelled the names "Barack" and "Emanuel."

"December 3, 2008

"Miami, Florida — Cong. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen thought it was a hoax when President-Elect Barak (sic) Obama called her twice today and she proceeded to hang up on him, twice.

"Ros-Lehtinen was working in her South Florida district when she received a call on her cell from a Chicago based phone number and an aide informed her that President-Elect Obama wished to speak to her. A gentleman sounding like Obama introduced himself when Ros-Lehtinen cut him off and said that ‘I’m sorry but I think this is a joke from one of the South Florida radio stations known for these pranks’ and hung up.

"A short time later, Cong. and Chief of Staff designate Rahm Emmanuel (sic) called Ileana and stated ‘Ileana, I cannot believe that you hung up on the President-Elect.’ Ros-Lehtinen told Rahm that she didn’t believe the call was legitimate and hung up on Emmanuel (sic). A staffer to the Congresswoman informed her that Chairman Howard Berman of the Foreign Affairs Committee needed to speak with her urgently. When Chairman Berman called, Ros-Lehtinen urged him to recount a story only both of them would know, which he did, and told her that she had indeed hung up on the President-Elect.

"The Congresswoman then received another call from Obama and he told her ‘It is very funny that you have twice hung up on me,’ to which she responded that South Florida radio stations are notorious for these jokes. Obama told her that in Chicago they also have prank calls. Ileana told Obama that ‘you are either very gracious to reach out in such a bipartisan manner or had run out of folks to call if you are truly calling me and Saturday Night Live could use a good Obama impersonator like you.’ After she congratulated him for his victory and pledged to work together on behalf of all Americans, Ros-Lehtinen asked Obama to please consult with Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Albio Sires on Cuba policy and to rely on Secretary of State designate Clinton on Israel, two issues about which Ros-Lehtinen feels passionately.

"Ros-Lehtinen talked to Hillary Clinton by phone yesterday and also discussed Cuba and Israel."

– jpt

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