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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/02/28/art.barackobama.ap.jpg caption=" 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.

Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • RNC
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. Bill Jay

    If his middle name is HUSSEIN then use it.............................................
    barack hussein obama that is what I go by....big deal.

    February 28, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. George in Chicago

    I don't think the RNC is the biggest worry right now. Billary still lurks out there, and if I were Obama, that is what would keep me up at night. This country needs to put the stake through Billary's heart now!

    February 28, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Patty

    It seems that the Obama campaign is getting more upset about this than they should. Wasn't it them that that claimed the picture of him on a visit to Africa was a terrible plot by the Clinton campaign and he went all negative? Now they don't like using his middle name or having it mentioned? It seems that Obama supporters have no problem in calling Hillary Clinton every name under the sun but are upset about a picture that no one should have complained about or using his real name. Who is making a fuss more than the Obama campaign? It seems they seem to be using it to their full advantage and to again claim some kind of racism? Sorry, but I am getting tired of this whole thing and it stinks! Can we say anything about him anymore without his supporters claiming foul?

    February 28, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Allen, NE

    It's not just a name that's at the heart of this matter. It is context and tone and everyone knows that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his name, but to say his name in a manner that implies he is bomb-carrying psycho is pitiful and downright awful.

    Nice duck n cover GOP. If nothing was wrong or inaccurate then I expect no retraction of what they were doing. If you’re correct then don’t back down. Because they did speaks for itself.

    People who do this stuff are who we refer to as leaders. Those who suck it up are called idiots and our ‘leaders’ rely heavily on that!

    February 28, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. R

    Well , here we go again, they find another way of making it "all about him",
    where there is smoke , there is fire, and I think the media should be digging deeper in Obama 's past.
    Boy , are you Americans in for a surprise, if he is elected.
    Remember this is the one whose wife is only proud of her country , now that her husband is running.
    I watch in amazement , how you are all falling for his "bull" and no substance.
    This is the guy who thinks Canada has a President, doe he even know where we are?

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. John Jones

    Why does it matter, Obama should just say it is my middle name. By making a big deal of it seems as if someone has something to hide.

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Rich

    Can we also ban the use of the name Hillary as well? We can denounce and reject it's use.

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Obsa

    I thought we were living in a civilized world where people are judged by their deeds not by their names. The far right should be ashamed of their smear tactic. Since they are secluded in their own world their eyes are blind and cannot see what is going on in the world. I think they are missing a golden opportunity to adjust themselves with the future. They are people of the past.

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Richard K. Imel

    Well the press sure uses Clinton's middle name a lot and nothing is said about that. Obama's middle name scares the heck out of me. I do not trust this man. Words are cheap. I have always felt this man is a plant and the American people are playing right into his hand. God help this country if he is elected!!!!

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Nate in Mpls

    Soon the GOP will be trying to convince the fine people of the United States that Obama ALSO has WMDs hidden in Illinois.

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. CHERYL




    GO HILLARY!!!!!

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Mike

    Nice touch. What will the RNC do to prevent the next Swift Boat organization of knuckleheads? Forgive my cynicism, but I'm thinking this is merely a smoke screen so the RNC can say it wasn't them and it wasn't official.

    Want to impress me? Denounce the "southern strategy". Denounce the strategy of claiming anyone with the gall to disagree with George W. Bush is unpatriotic. Denounce the strategy that implies that those of us opposed to warrantless wiretaps are "on the side of the terrorists". Denounce the implication that those of us that scorn the use of torture in our name somehow "hate America".

    I won't hold my breath.

    327 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Me2

    John McCain's middle name is Sidney?! I'm changing my vote to Democrat this year!

    February 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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