E-mails from Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign chairman John Podesta reveal the Clinton campaign wanted to attack then-rival Barack Obama for having a Muslim father and growing up in a Muslim country.
The e-mails, which were allegedly hacked from Podesta’s account and were published by WikiLeaks today, reveal that Clinton’s 2008 campaign had focus-group tested attacks focusing on Obama’s cocaine habit, his decision to not wear an American flag lapel pin, and the time he spent in Indonesia.
Some of the attacks they considered waging against Obama, who they referred to as (owe-BAHM-uh), include:
Last month, Donald Trump held an event in his newly-opened Washington DC hotel, during which he denounced all of his earlier claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United states or was a Muslim. Trump also claimed that Hillary Clinton was the one who started the birther controversy during her failed campaign for president in 2008. His assertion was met with a huge freakout among those in the media who eagerly “fact-checked” his claim and loudly reported Clinton’s denials.
Although the Clinton campaign has yet to confirm the authenticity of these e-mails (why would they?) Trump appears to be right — the Clinton campaign did indeed consider attacking Obama for his heritage and even did so in a slightly more subtle way.
In 2007, her pollster Mark Penn questioned Obama’s “American roots.”
“I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values,” Penn said in a 2007 memo.
Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Clinton surrogate in 2008, very loudly drew attention to Obama’s Muslim connections on the campaign trail and in TV interviews.
“People are acting as if he is an Islamic Manchurian candidate, I feel it’s actually a substantial strength,” he said. “That connection to Indonesia and a billion Muslims on this earth I think is a real strength.”