Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Barack Obama admitted to being a Muslim during an ABC News interview.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, September 2008]
Origins: In September 2008, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos for ABC's This Week news program. When the subject of the interview turned to Senator Obama's assertion that Republicans were attempting to scare voters by suggesting he is not Christian, the following exchange occurred:
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned your Christian faith. Yesterday, you took after the Republicans for suggesting you have Muslim connections. Just a few minutes ago, Rick Davis, John McCain's campaign manager, said they've never done that. This is a false and cynical attempt to play victim.That last sentence was a straightforward statement: Senator Obama was not proclaiming his "Muslim faith"; he was acknowledging that Republican nominee John McCain had not specifically promulgated the false rumor that he (Obama) was a Muslim.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But the McCain campaign has never suggested you have Muslim connections.
SEN. OBAMA: No. No. No. But I don't think that when you look at what is being promulgated on Fox News, let's say, and Republican commentators who are closely allied to these
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But John McCain said that's wrong.
SEN. OBAMA: Listen, you and I both know that the minute that Governor Palin was forced to talk about her daughter, I immediately said that's off limits.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And John McCain said the same thing about questioning your faith.
SEN. OBAMA: And what was the first thing the McCain campaign went out and did? They said, look, these liberal blogs that support Obama are out there attacking Governor Palin. Let's not play games. What I was
Unfortunately, at this point of the interview, George
SEN. OBAMA: What I wasA very brief, out-of-context segment was then clipped from that exchange and sent winging around the Internet as proof that Senator Obama had "admitted his Muslim faith," something even the conservative Washington Times acknowledged was false:
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS (interrupting): Your Christian faith.
SEN. OBAMA: My Christian faith — well, what I'm saying
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS (interrupting): Connections, right.
But illustrating the difficulty of preventing false rumors about his faith from spreading,
Mr. Obama, who is a Christian and often proudly speaks about how his faith has influenced his public service, said he finds it "deeply offensive" that there are efforts "coming out of the Republican camp to suggest that perhaps I'm not who I say I am when it comes to my faith."
Last updated: 23 October 2008
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