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Obama Camp Vows To Hit Back Hard At Corsi

The Obama campaign is determined not to let Jerome Corsi's anti-Obama bestseller have the same impact on Obama that Corsi's 2004 book "Unfit For Command" had on 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry.

As CBS News Chief Political Correspondent Marc Ambinder notes, the Obama campaign said in a statement that they are "aggressively attacking the factual errors in this book, and making sure that everyone knows about the deeply offensive things Corsi has said that will give readers of any political affiliation pause and ample reason to question the lies he's written."

The statement goes on to say, "This book is nothing but a series of lies that were long ago discredited, written by an individual who was discredited after he wrote a similar book to help George Bush and Dick Cheney get re-elected four years ago."

The Obama campaign, Ambinder reports, "is quietly shopping around research to anyone who wants it and is encouraging allies to look into Corsi's background."

It has also been less quietly pointing reporters to stories that seem to discredit Corsi, such as this New York Times post on Corsi's apparent belief in 9/11 conspiracy theories, which the campaign emailed to its media list this afternoon.

Talking Points Memo, meanwhile, reports that the Obama campaign has "plans to dig more deeply into the author's past statements, plans for increased surrogate action against the book, and stepped up pressure on high-level media executives to let the Obama team have air time to rebut the charges."

"Obama advisers say that whenever they hear that Corsi has been booked for an appearance on a network program, they are quickly contacting the program's producers to rebut the book's charges in phone conversations and giving them a whole run-down of past Corsi quotes that are controversial," writes Greg Sargent.

Kerry, who has railed against Corsi and the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth who attacked him in the 2004 campaign, has launched a Web site this time around to push back at the "smear machine." Four years ago, the Massachusetts senator initially resisted responding to the Swift Boat Veterans' ads for fear of giving them credibility.

Corsi says he plans to get involved with ads this time around as well.

UPDATE: Late this afternoon the Obama campaign released "Unfit for Publication," which it says "outlines a sampling of the lies, half-truths and misleading statements in the book 'Obama Nation,' by Jerome Corsi. It also reports Corsi's controversial and bigoted comments and his involvement previous smear attacks, like the false swift-boat attacks on John Kerry."

The report will soon be linked from the campaign's "Fight The Smears" site.

A selection from the section headlined "The author: a discredited, fringe bigot":

Of course, the lies in "The Obama Nation" almost pale in comparison to the bizarre, conspiratorial views that Jerome Corsi has advocated in his broader work. He believes that President Bush is trying to merge the United states with Mexico and Canada. He believes that there is a literally unending supply of oil beneath the ground. And in perhaps the gravest sign that his views can't be trusted, he alleges a government cover-up of the 9/11 attacks and denies that airplanes were to blame for the towers' collapse.

And it doesn't stop there. Corsi has penned a litany of bigoted, hateful comments—crossing the line so thoroughly that even the right-wing operatives behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth disavowed him. This is a man who smears the Catholic Church, calls the Pope "senile," and regularly demeans public servants in vile sexual and racial terms. In short, his record of attacks is disgusting and false, and so is this book.