February 28th, 2008
02:55 PM ET
7 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. kb from Iowa

    I would like to read that story too, but he didn't really have many facts about who wrote it, if it was in a legitimate newspaper, or exactly what it said. Anyone can say, 'well, I read a story about that' to further their cause. Hell, I heard a lady on TV say this pill would melt away my spare tire with no exersize or dieting. She was on TV and she looked pretty good so it must be true. Start backing your accusations up people, or don't bother. What an ignorant way to spread ignorance.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. John

    The RNC can both denounce and reject it because the Clinton campaign will just pick up the RNC's tactics. The Clintons are nothing but a bunch of slick losers.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Ade

    'Roger'

    'I don't see the problem with the use of his middle name. It isn't like a rival made up a nickname and tagged him with it, it is his given name. If he is ashamed of his name he should change it. If he is not ashamed of it and feels there is nothing wrong with it then it being used should not bother anyone.'

    Roger, he is not ashamed of his name. The problem is the WAY people use it to psychologically instill fear or doubt.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Ron, NJ

    LETS be realistic here. In a perfect world it wouldn't matter what someone's middle name was and it certainly wouldn't have any influence.

    But in the REAL world, sadly, a large percentage of people in our nation would either be scared away from him or would simply be bigoted simply based on his middle name.

    People who stress his middle name are indirectly aiming right at those people.
    It is a good thing the RNC denounced this because we as a nation don't need to be stoking any prejudicial fires.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Peachy Keen

    I'd say they are running like scared rabbits and will say anything at this point. Heck, Hillary probably gave them postage money to mail the thing.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Mike

    No matter they denounce it now..but when Barack win the president the middle name of Hussein will come out again.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. kris

    It's not that he has anything to hide but do you think if his middle name was John anyone would say Barack John Obama. No. It is just used to play on people's fears and stereotypes. I don't know about anyone else but I had no choice in what name I was given and neither did he.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Tom Swift, NH

    `
    QUOTE: " Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan formally denounced Thursday the Tennessee Republican Party's use of Barack Obama's full name "

    Denounced? Not good enough. I call upon the RNC to REJECT it.

    McCain '08 – A Change We Can Live With

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Hussein

    My name is Hussein, and I am deeply offended that everyone keeps referring to my name as if it was an insult or a curse word. What's wrong with my name?

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Vannesa

    who cares what his name is!!! let get to real issues, economy, International matters.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. D McKee

    "Me thinks he protests to much"

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Robin

    For over Seven years the Republicans have been using fear to win votes and power. LOOK LOOK what they have done to our beloved Country. The US dollar is week, Inflation is soaring while the Republican major Donors like the Drug Companies, Exon Mobile, Dick Cheney Haliburton, have all become super wealthy. It is very clear to see what the Republicans are doing. They are trying to smear Obama by playing on fear, how pathetic. I am no fan of Obama, but I will vote for him. Remember if you want to live like a Republican vote Democrat

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. D

    What is wrong in using the middle name? I hope he has not denounced it.There is less scrutiny around this candidate and all Americans are entilted to full facts.Bill Cunningham is right,he is yet to be challenged by the media.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Nick, Chicago, IL

    Well that is his name , so that is what they should call him , while growing up my name ryhmed with everything , GROW UP BARACK . Because the name has a bad connotation with the American people as a whole , it is still his name and thats what he should be called .

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Andy, New York, New York

    This is the silly season. It's called election campaign. Anything goes.

    And what is going right now is a movement led by Obama that is riling traditional political and ideological bases. That explains why we are reading all these silly non-news items.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. CSteffe

    John McCain should change his middle name to Hussein.

    February 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. jeannie

    What a bunch af nuts. Is he ashamed of his name I don't get it. Maybe he should change it, if he don't like it. You name is what it is , and if that happen to be Barrack Hussein Obama to bad.

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. MB

    Isn't that his name? I'm sick of everyone tip toeing around this subject. His father was from Kenya. If he is so afraid to use his name then he should have changed it prior to the election. It isn't like he didn't go around calling himself Barry for years.

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. cynthia

    Rasism right in our faces!!! this is simply ridiculous and unbelievable. Ignorance at its best!!! OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Becca

    You know, our international counterparts couldn't understand why Bush was re-elected. Now we're probably getting ourselves into more criticism if we elect Obama. . . Think hard before you vote people!

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Hussein

    Why is it such a bad thing to be thought of as a Muslim, most of us are not fanatics, and we don't deserve to be insulted on a daily basis.

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Dennis

    There is no problem with Obama's middle name. It is fine. However, to suggest that Cunningham and the Tennessee Republican's Party (TRP) aren't using it in an attempt to create fear is naive. Both Cunningham and the TRP were attempting to create some connection between Obama and the regimes in the Middle East that are poised against Israel based on nothing but his name. John McCain isn't regularly identified by his middle name. Neither is Huckabee. And nobody is likely to be confused as to which Barack Obama you are talking about if you don't use his middle name. The suggestion that Obama is somehow out to get Israel because he has a middle name that is the same as Saddam's last name is nonsense. He didn't pick his name for one. Second, there are plenty of Husseins that aren't dictators that support terrorism. These types of suggestions are immature and disrespectful.

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. LILLY

    OBAMA IS GOOD MAN,,IF YOUNG PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWINGG HIM,,THEN OBAMA SHOULD SAY,,HE IS PROUD OF HIS NAME,,,,,HILLARY NEVER SAYS,,,DON,T SAY RODHAM,,,,,

    PLUS,,,,,,WE ALL ARE PROUD OF OUR PARENTS,OUR COUNTRY AND OUR BACKGROUND ,,,AND OBAMA SHOULD STAND UP AND SAY THAT HE IS,,,BETTER NOW THAN LATER ,,,

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Chanda-Cincinnati Ohio

    Its is truly a shame that this man's name has become such a hot topic. With the ste of the economy, the middle east, Korea lurking around the corner, public education, poverty, forclosures, etc. etc. etc. I would think reasonably intelligent people would have something better to talk about. People still try to capitalizeon the wave of Muslim fear that 9/11 ushered into this country. Although that was the platform George W. got re-elected on, I am glad to see that the RNC will not continue those fear mongering ways. I don't believe Barack has ever said he was ashamed of his name, and he shouldn't be...its his grandmother's last name in Kenya. The surname Hussein in Africa and the middle east is as common as Smith or Johnson is here in the US. My last name is Manson, but I am not going to walk around in fear that people are going to equate me to the infamous Charles Manson. Its his name, and you people who try to spin more out of it than that..(i.e. he is muslim or he took his oath of office on the Koran) really need to grow up and become educated. Who ever you vote for, don't base it on race, gender, or the irrational fear of a name.

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. pat

    Oh poor O'Bammy his briefs are in a knot. If he isn't proud of his name he can change it again.
    Sorry, he and his wife have always been proud–for the 1st time.

    February 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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