McCain, Obama... and Castro?
While Obama is overseas getting his picture taken with respected world leaders like Netanyahu, Merkel and Maliki, the McCain campaign has put out a new web-ad that pairs a picture of Obama and a not-so-popular world leader: Fidel Castro. HuffPo has details on the ad, which includes a Castro quote praising Obama as "the most advanced candidate."
This isn't the first time the Republican party has used that particular Castro quote as political ammunition. It's also not the first time they've done a little photoshop work on images of the Illinois Senator and the former Cuban dictator. In May the Florida GOP emailed out a doctored picture of Castro holding an Obama campaign poster -- with a link to an article that used the same quote as evidence of an endorsement.
Politifact checked out the email and had this to say about the Castro interview that produced the quote in question:
In the article, Castro actually spends most of his words criticizing a speech Obama made to the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami just a few days before, on May 23. In that speech, Obama pledged that if elected, he would immediately allow unlimited family travel to Cuba and family members to send money to relatives in Cuba. Obama reiterated his position that he would meet with the leaders of enemy nations without preconditions. But the thing that really raised Castro's ire was Obama's vow to maintain the embargo as "leverage" to encourage Cuba to "take significant steps towards democracy."
So did Castro endorse Obama? Politifact's truth-o-meter gives that claim a "pants on fire" rating. Castro did not endorse Obama.
The new web-ad is being used in South Florida. And even though it's misleading, it could still be damaging among the large population of Cuban exiles there.
-- Thomas Pierce
12:36 PM ET | 07-24-2008 | permalink