August 7th, 2007
06:25 PM ET
15 years ago

Graham poses with Clinton/Obama/Osama sign

Graham is seen holding the sign in a photo obtained by TMZ.com Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may have taken heat recently for posing with a controversial campaign sign likening Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden, but that didn't stop South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham from holding a similarly worded sign, in a photograph published by TMZ.com Tuesday.

Graham, a supporter of Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential bid, is seen in a photograph dated July 27 holding a sign saying "Obama, Osama, and Chelsea's Moma say cut and run," next to a McCain campaign sign.

The sign is an obvious grouping of the two leading Democratic presidential candidates - Sens. Hillary Clinton, the mother of Chelsea Clinton, and Barack Obama - with Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, Graham said, “I was handed the sign by a rally attendee as I was leaving. I should have been more careful and I apologize.”

The sign is nearly identical to a sign Romney posed next to two weeks ago - right down to the misspelling of "momma." The sign Romney was photographed with said "No to Obama, Osama, and Chelsea's Moma."

Romney, who was criticized by one member of a New Hampshire town-hall meeting - later identified as a Democratic blogger - for posing with the sign, said, “I have a lot of pictures taken with people. I don’t really spend all that much time looking at the signs and the T-shirts and the buttons. I don’t have anything to say about a sign somebody else was holding.”

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Evan Glass

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Darrius Cole, AR

    I just want to clarify that Barack Obama is NOT a Muslim.

    August 7, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Korey Austin, Texas

    What do you expect, we let people get away with this kind of thing. We are at fault for how this country has turned out. This cheap and disgusting ploy works for some people and the fact we do nothing about it is par for course. It has nothing to do with racism or sexism, it is the fact that people respond to this kind of campaigning. As long as you are not outraged enough to take time off work and go out and protest this or anything the government or it's representatives do wrong then don't act surprised.

    August 7, 2007 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Lance –
    That was one of the best postings I've ever read! It's postings like yours that keep me reading the political ticker every day!

    August 7, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Big Ben Rock Hill SC

    As another native of South Carolina all my seventy-eight years of life I sometimes have to cringe at what so many in my state do. Sorry to say this kind of stuff will go over great with the republicans in this, my home state. As a sponsor of the amnesty immigration bill, which was almost totally opposed by his supporters, he is trying to gain them back.

    August 7, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  5. Connie, Louisville, Tn.

    Typical response from South Carolina. I doubt if they will be a deciding force in the Presidential elections.

    August 7, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. Rosie - Washington, DC

    What more can you possibly expect from someone who backs John McCain??

    August 7, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. TheDonald

    This is a new low in American politics!

    August 7, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. Jeff, Columbia, SC

    The scary thing is that Graham is our "sane" senator. This kind of cheap scare-tactic is what we generally associate with Jim DeMint, the junior senator from Xenophobia. Way to play to your base, Lindsay!

    August 7, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  9. girish, springboro, oh

    This is hate crime. I can't believe people who make legislation demonstrate such a pathetic attitude.

    August 7, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  10. MS Johnson City, TN

    Could Osama Bin Laden have ever imagined in his wildest dreams that one day, his name would be surrounded by the names of presidential hopefuls and carried by a U.S. senator?

    "It's a great country, Sam!"

    Colin Powell – in an interview with Sam Donaldson of ABC

    August 7, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  11. CMS, California

    Name calling happens on both sides of the aisle. Why are you surprised? Quit being USED by the establishment.

    We need a middle of the road, credible party to UNITE America! Enough partisanship which only divides us and continues the status quo.

    August 8, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  12. Nick, Phillipsburg, New Jersey

    Everyone else who commented on this article and picture clearly are unable to read and/or look with their eyes. The sign that he's holding has absolutely NOTHING to do with saying Obama and Osama are related hahahaha idiots. And it's also not calling Obama "Osama".....once again, idiots. The sign is saying that Osama, Obama, and Clinton all want us out of Iraq, which Republicans do not want. I thought that was pretty clear, but I guess I should have expected liberals to read insults into situations where they don't exist. Way to go.

    August 8, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  13. Dave

    So basically he lied when he claimed "no knowledge of the sign"

    Lies this early give me pause about the candidate

    August 8, 2007 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  14. Walters, A. Md

    This country deserves better, What is actually wrong with this political Demagogues, blasphamers, politicians with little vision and no conviction.They are so corrupt and liars at the extent that they can't effectively represent this great nation for Romney and SC representative. They all claim they never read this signs. Born racists and sexiest.DEbate should be base on policies and ideas not trivialities.

    August 8, 2007 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  15. Jeremy, Manila, RP

    It was less a sign about racism and having much more to do with all three's similar viewpoint on an exit strategy for the situation in the Middle East, simply, that the US should leave and soon. But hey, great work on completely missing the point and focusing instead on unrelated issues.

    August 8, 2007 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  16. Allen, Redlands CA

    This is everyday banter in SC. Trust me, SC Republicans are loving this. Why did we let that state back in the union? Wasn't South Carolina the first state to "cut-and-run" 1860? Looks like it takes one to know one.

    August 8, 2007 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  17. Mike, HI

    I'm not sure I get the Chelsea Clinton thing. I guess they just needed to figure out a way to rhyme with Obama/Osama (which is sad), but what did Chelsea ever do to them?

    August 8, 2007 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  18. Chris, Arlington, VA

    I don't approve of the sign either, but he didn't make the sign. He was asked for a photo and as politicians and celebrities should know, it's best to think before you give in to every thing someone wants you to stand in front of for a photo. It's funny how he is a racist, yet Elizabeth Edwards can make comments about her husband not getting attention because he's 'not black' and that's all fine and dandy. So much hypocrisy in the world.

    August 8, 2007 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  19. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Absolutely moronic and tasteless. How old are these people anyway?

    August 8, 2007 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  20. Alissa, CA

    Well if it was o.k. for Ted Kennedy to slip up and call Obama, Osama what's the big deal if Romney poses next to a sign saying the same thing? Horrible penmanship on the sign BTW.

    August 8, 2007 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  21. M. Elliott, Hackettstown, NJ

    They misspelled "momma"....twice....

    That's just impressive.

    August 8, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. Ron R., Summerville, SC

    It's not the fact that he posed with the sign that disgusts me as much as his lame excuse. “I was handed the sign by a rally attendee as I was leaving. I should have been more careful and I apologize.” This implies that he didn't read it before he posed for the picture. Give me a break! A career politician, lawyer, Air Force JAG officer didn't take the time to read a nine-word sign? Yeah...right! He's pleading no contest because he was caught on camera. It was a mini-"Macaca" moment.

    August 8, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Typical Southern conservative Republican for you.

    August 8, 2007 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. Pete, T.S. FL

    CNN,

    My comment was no more offensive than the sign that good old Lindsey is holding, so why did you delete my post? If you continue to stifle free speech you may as well merge with the “F” network!

    “WE THE PEOPLE”

    August 8, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  25. Chip Celina OH

    I don't get it. Every comment so far complains about name calling, yet responds in kind. What's up with that?

    August 8, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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