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Sanders camp releases ad with Obama after accusing rivals of using former president as a 'prop'

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'It reeks of desperation'

Image source: Bernie Sanders YouTube video screenshot

The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has released a new ad showing the socialist cozying up to former President Barack Obama as snippets of Obama's words about Sanders from over the years play in the background.

While it is not unusual for candidates to tout their links to a former president of the same party (or, in this case, party affiliation), the timing and sincerity of the ad is being questioned — especially after a Sanders campaign co-chair accused his 2020 rivals of using Obama as a "prop" in ads just a few weeks ago.

What are the details?

A staff writer for the Atlantic shared a video Thursday of Sanders campaign co-chair Nina Turner slamming other Democratic White House hopefuls for using President Obama as "a prop." According to the reporter, the footage was taken Feb. 19 at the primary debate in Las Vegas.

Turner says in the clip that half the candidates in the race did not support Obama in 2008, but "now they want to use him as a prop. They should not be using the black president as their prop to try to seduce the African-American community." She specifically criticized "airing commercials with President Obama's image."

But a few days ago, on Super Tuesday, Sanders took a walloping by former Vice President Joe Biden among black voters, and on Wednesday, the Sanders campaign released its ad showing the Vermont senator taking a stroll with Obama.

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The Hill reported that the ad "underscores the Vermont independent's need to win over black voters."

Reporter Amie Parnes wrote, "But former Obama officials and Biden supporters have ripped it for suggesting a false closeness between the former president and Sanders, whom Biden's team has criticized for contemplating a primary challenge in 2012 against Obama."

An unnamed former Obama White House aide told the outlet of the Sanders ad, "It reeks of desperation. Does he want to claim he served as Obama's VP, too?"

A second former Obama staffer added, "I know everyone wants to cozy up to him but it seems so obvious what Bernie is trying to do and it seems dishonest. He's spent most of this campaign slamming Obama policies and the status quo."

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