Obama campaign issues rebuttal to book's claims

Associated Press Modified: August 15, 2008 at 5:59 am •  Published: August 15, 2008
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HONOLULU (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hit back Thursday with a 40-page rebuttal to the best-selling book "The Obama Nation," arguing the author is a fringe bigot peddling rehashed lies.

Jerome Corsi's anti-Obama book, "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality," claims the Illinois senator is a dangerous, radical candidate for president. The book is a compilation of all the innuendo and false rumors against Obama - that he was raised a Muslim, attended a radical, black church and secretly has a "black rage" hidden beneath the surface.

In fact, Obama is a Christian who attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

The Obama campaign picked apart the book's claims in a rebuttal titled "Unfit For Publication," to be posted on the Obama campaign's rumor-fighting Web site, FightTheSmears.com. The title is a play on the book Corsi co-authored against 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's military service called "Unfit For Command."

"Jerome Corsi is a discredited liar who is peddling another piece of garbage to continue the Bush-Cheney politics he helped perpetuate four years ago," said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor. "His is just one of what will likely be many more lie-filled books rushed to print this election cycle, which are cobbled together from debunked Internet sources to make money and advance a partisan agenda. We will respond to these smears forcefully with all means at our disposal."

Corsi's book is off to a swift start and is No. 1 on The New York Times' hardcover nonfiction best-seller list, even though Obama's campaign would argue the book should be listed as fiction.

Obama's campaign says the book is full of factual inaccuracies that include the wrong date for the Obamas' marriage. Corsi also writes that Obama left much of his family background out of his autobiographies - his father's polygamy and alcoholism, his sister's birth in Indonesia and that his then-fiance Michelle accompanied him on a visit to Kenya - but the campaign points out page numbers from "Dreams From My Father" where Obama discussed all those things.

In "The Obama Nation" - the title is a twist on the word abomination - Corsi catalogs various allegations that have haunted Obama on right-wing blogs and anonymous e-mails.

Corsi suggests, without a shred of proof, that Obama may be using drugs today. Obama has acknowledged using marijuana and cocaine as a teenager but says he quit when he went to college and hasn't used drugs since.

Corsi makes an issue of the fact that, before he quit smoking cigarettes, Obama didn't want it widely known that he smoked. "If Obama takes pains to hide his smoking from us, what else does he take pains to hide?" Corsi asks in the book.

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