February 28th, 2008
02:55 PM ET
6 years ago

RNC denounces use of 'Hussein' in Obama's name

 The RNC has denounced the use of Obama's middle name in a Tennessee GOP press release.
The RNC has denounced the use of Obama's middle name in a Tennessee GOP press release.

(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan formally denounced Thursday the Tennessee Republican Party's use of Barack Obama's full name in a recent press release questioning the Illinois senator's commitment to Israel.

“The RNC rejects these kinds of campaign tactics," RNC Chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement. "We believe this election needs to be about the critical issues confronting our nation.”

The statement in question, which was released Monday, said the state party is joining a "growing chorus of Americans concerned about the future of the nation of Israel…if Sen. Barack Hussein Obama is elected president of the United States.” It also included a photograph of Obama from a 2006 trip to Kenya in which he is dressed in traditional attire worn by area Muslims.

The press release was sparked by recent praise for the Illinois senator from Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who has made several derogatory remarks about Judaism and has indicated his support for Obama. At Tuesday night's MSNBC debate, Obama said he denounced those comments and did not seek Farrakhan's support.

On Wednesday night the party removed both the photo and the reference of Hussein from the statement after Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander called to express his belief that using them had become a distraction, Tennessee GOP Communications Director Bill Hobbs told CNN.

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– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • RNC
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. Go Hillary, Fort Lauderdale

    What's the BIG DEAL Mr. Obama. You should be proud of your name, the more you stress this as a problem the more you seem as if you got something to hide.

    February 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Rosanne

    but we're still not hearing any response re: why the anti-Israel concerns are being raised. What – in Obama's constituency - gives rise to this fear???

    February 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Robert in Albuquerque

    Why can't people use his legal full name? I see no issue with it. It's his name, like it or not.

    February 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. michelle, TX

    is this what we are coming to. The RNC relesed that statement just to keep talking about something that is FALSE FALSE!!!!

    February 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. techangel

    Why not use it? PC run amok again. Is it is his middle name or not?

    Is Jefferson the middle name of the former Pres. Clinton? They use his full name often. Same with Pres. GWB.

    If Olamabomarama has a problem with it, he should legally remove it.

    February 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    From the family guy:

    "LOOK THERE'S THE SYMBOL OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, AN ELEPHANT AND AN OLD FAT WHITE GUY WHO'S AFFRAID OF CHANGE"

    February 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. JTP

    Why do you keep covering these false attacks and then wonder how the rumors continue to be spread? CNN is playing an active role in spreading this bigotry. Why don't you try real reporting for a change?

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Frank

    There is nothing wrong with his middle name – the problem is that some low life individuals with public exposure use it to scare other (less educated) voters to belief that Obama would be a muslim.

    It's the same with the color of his skin – which is perfectly, perfectly fine – however if someone calls him the 'Black Barack Obama', then the reference to his skin color or the word 'Black' has to be rejected.

    We all know that these klans people don't call Obama by his middle name because otherwise you would not know about which Barack Obama they are talking about.

    In the future these individuals can call him 'Mr. President' which should be simple enough for them.

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Vic

    It's both amazing and a disgraceful epitath to the decline of our values here in the United States that a political party would suggest that using Obama's middle name in a manipulative and suggestive manner is "OK" politics.

    What's most digusting about what has happened to the Republican Party and their surrogate the conservative right under the Bush / Cheeney / Rove era is that the ethics of the GOP has declined so much.

    I left the Republican party lst November, because after 8 years of George Bush tactics, I had finally had it with Reprublicanism. These people don't reflect my values and I hope they don't represent the values of the average American.

    Whether it's Obama or someone else – it's far time we washed this appauling rift raft out of Washington and bring some dignity back to our nation.

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Rex

    It's a shame that some have used a simple name to defame a person.
    What's even more of a shame is how many people actually believe that Obama and Hussein have something in common.
    The only reason the RNC is denouncing it at this time is so any further use of his name in a derogatory fashion will not be attributed to them.

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. PatriciaG

    Obama has nothing to hide but he is realistic .. The last election was won due to hate mongering fear period.

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Larry Jones, Anton, Texas

    It's his name isn't it? So why is anyone apologizing for call him by his middle name? Makes no sense. If they called him some derogatory name I can see the apology, but it's his NAME! If he doesn't like it, why doesn't he change it?

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Florida Independent

    I hope these tactics backfire on the dirty people (both in the Clinton camp and the Republican camp) who use them. It is a scare tactic and not a positive comment on our culture.

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. lrz

    Is that his name of not?? If it is, why is he so afraid of it.

    February 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. Bradley

    Kingssman said: "They say those who have no platform to run on themselves go negative"

    So is that why Obama is so consistently negative and attacks Hillary so often?

    I guess you're right – he doesn't have a platform, does he? Just a lot of huffing and puffing and airy-fairy dreams. Nothing of substance. No real plans.

    Hey, thanks for pointing that out!

    February 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Luke in Texas

    "So the RNC denounces it, but do they reject it?" .....Bravo

    February 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Greg

    If he does not like his name, he should change it. Many political figures are called by all thre names with no objections; Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Richard Millhouse Nixon.
    It's his name & that is that. if he is not a muslim maybe he should change his name to John Smith.

    February 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Ca Native

    I thought Barack Obama was PROUD of his childhood? He cites his foreign experience as living abroad (in muslim country). Why should he be ashamed of "Hussein" or offended if any one else calls him by his GIVEN name. It IS his name, right?

    February 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This Government needs to stop doing business with Muslims countries if we are concerned about Obama's name and declaring him to be Muslim. For anyone to put a label on Obama simply because of his name is the most undemocratic carriage of justice and should be dealt with in a legal manner. People need to think before they speak and not spread malicious rumors for the purpose of personal gain or simply being mean spirited. I personally detest these rumors and see this as a legal matter.

    February 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Roger

    Let's face the facts, this is politics and his middle name should be used as anyone's middle name will be used. He was given that name by his parents for some reason. I know it is supposedly a rumor that his father and stepfather were radical islamics, but who knows. His middle name would reflect something.

    February 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Adam

    Sounds like an odd form of censorship to me.

    February 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. James

    Using his middle name and not Hillary's or McCain's is a double standard, and the only naive people are those that believe constantly referring to the use of his middle name (which was his Grandfather's name and given to him 18 years before Saddam took power in Iraq) isn't being used to drum up fear. I applaud the RNC for this public stand- it's about all they can do at this point. There are significant issues that need to be debated in the next 8 months and there shouldn't be any need for these tactics given the stakes involved.

    February 28, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This Government needs to stop doing business with Muslims countries if we are concerned about Obama's name and declaring him to be Muslim. For anyone to put a label on Obama simply because of his name is the most undemocratic miscarriage of justice and should be dealt with in a legal manner. People need to think before they speak and not spread malicious rumors for the purpose of personal gain or simply being mean spirited. I personally detest these rumors and see this as a legal matter.

    February 28, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Amelia

    Why two stories in a row about the same exact thing (rumors about Barack's faith)? It seems the rumors get a lot more credit when you obsess over them. Still, HRC supporters are convinced their candidate is the only one who is scrutinized by the press. If the press gave credence to any of the speculation out there about HRC's personal life, you can bet her supporters would be irate. Barack's campaign doesn't take the victim route, and that's something all voters should consider.

    February 28, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Gregory Mutale

    I would would prefer the RNC goes further and rejects it all together ?

    On the flip side.....where is hillary ???

    February 28, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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