Obama did record robocall supporting Mississippi Democrat Jim Hood
CLAIM: Obama robocall supporting Democratic candidate Jim Hood for Mississippi governor is fake.
AP’s ASSESSMENT: False. Former President Barack Obama did actually record a call for voters in Mississippi urging them to vote for Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood as governor ahead of the Nov. 5 gubernatorial election.
THE FACTS: Claims are circulating on Twitter suggesting Obama robocalls supporting Hood as Mississippi governor are fake and an “impersonation.” Multiple users on Twitter questioned the legitimacy of the call, while some accused Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who is also running for Mississippi’s top office, of planting a “phony Obama call for Hood.”
“Tate Reeve’s campaign dropping a phony Obama robo call for Hood is a masterstroke for some dumb ass Mississippians,” one Twitter user posted on Nov. 5.
Another user posted to Twitter on Nov. 4 saying, “All sorts of 11th hour political games going on in MS. First a VERY questionable mass email sent to teacher school emails. Then a VERY BAD impersonation of Obama on a robo-call paraded around as real. This stuff is getting ridiculous. Vote these fools out please!”
In the call, Obama tells voters to support Hood, stating that the Democratic nominee will expand Medicaid, keep rural hospitals open, raise teacher pay and increase diversity. “Paid for by friends of Jim Hood,” plays at the end.
Obama recorded the call for Hood, the former president’s spokeswoman Katie Hill confirmed to The Associated Press in an email.
Hood, who says he supports gun rights and opposes abortion, has distanced himself from many national and statewide Democratic figures through his campaign. Reeves, meanwhile, for months has attempted to link Hood to mainstream Democrats unpopular with Mississippi voters in order to keep Republicans in control of the state.
A Twitter user doubting the authenticity of the call posted on Nov. 4, “Seems rather peculiar that on the eve of election day, a campaign phone call surfaces allegedly of President Obama endorsing Jim Hood.”
The user said in a follow-up tweet, “We’ve already seen deepfake videos and heard deepfake audio recordings of all kinds in the political world last and this year. Until I see a confirmation from President Obama or Jim Hood, I do not believe it is real.”
The Hood and Reeves campaigns did not respond to the AP’s requests for comment.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536