February 28th, 2008
02:55 PM ET
14 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. Alice

    To paraphrase the Obamabots:

    Let's jump on the Hussein train – woo woo!

    February 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Obama kept his Middle name for 46 years that tells you that he is not ashame of his middle name. What is at stake is an idiot like Bill cunninham saying his middle name over and over for cheap for personal gain, political tactic and fear-mongering might swey some narrow minded people from believing that he is a muslim.

    February 28, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    Americans complain about how politicans treat them, complain about the media and say things like "we can think on our own"

    but then you guys play right into this whole middle name stupidity! Republicans want you to think he is a muslim, then you do. Republicans want you to think he is a undercover terrorist, then you do. If you really did your own research, you wll would know that these claims are false!

    I do not recall once when Obama said he was ashamed of his name, so people really need to get to the issues now...the game is over!!!

    stop the hate, obama 08

    February 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I don't know if CNN would publish my comments since they seem of late to be publishing news with a negative overtone on OBAMA.



    It's about time! Hillary hasbeen putting up with it for months, and the Obamabots saw nothing wrong with it. Guess it's wrong if it happens to Obambam, though, huh?

    February 28, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Joel, Pittsburgh, PA

    Oh, for the love of...

    >>just makes me wonder what Obama has to hide.

    In case anyone hasn't been keeping up with current events, Obama has been fighting false rumors that he's a Muslim, rumors stirred up to inflame Americans' prejudices. Using his middle name is a transparent attempt to pander to the same bigoted fears.

    Is this really so difficult to analyze?

    February 28, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Kyle

    I'm so sick of hearing the "it's just a name!" argument. You know exactly why people use it and exactly what they are trying to conjure up. It is absolutely foolish for anyone to feel negatively about him based on his name, but it happens. My 85 year-old Irish-Catholic aunt responded exactly that way to his name. She's not a stupid person, but she's an old republican lady who for some reason trusts politicians.

    Stop playing dumb and admit that this is all stupid!

    February 28, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. MG

    Reality Check....what is Hillaries middle name? I have never heard it used!

    February 28, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. chad

    americans are idiots. if his middle name is swaying a vote, that just shows pure stupidity on our parts. it's a freakin name people. GET OVER IT. my name is chad. i'm now automatically for the country of chad in africa. ridiculous.

    February 28, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. mjc

    he may be doing well now.. but if half the country thinks this way, i worry about how well he could do IF he gets to the general election. i think democrats are a little too excited about him without realising the unfortunate truths about what country we live in.

    February 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Allmond

    why, do people spend so much time worrying about Senate Obama's middle name, and not the fact that He just might get us all together and get something done in this time of trouble. Just get over the names people liberal or conservative, white or black, red states or blue states. We are all in trouble one way or the other because with out Green power or Gold power, We can not buy that gas power for our cars and homes and businesses.So get real people and work together for the good of us all, because the Roman Empire fell apart from within.

    February 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. anonymous

    I don't get it. Why is it so bad to call someone by their name? This country has fallen off the political correctness deep end.

    February 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Erica, Atlanta

    Well then use the middle name of ALL the canidates? Sindey is a girl's name John McCain...are you Gay?????????????

    February 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Jennifer

    Okay....first of all, all you people are stupid....

    I spend everyday 5 days a week for an hour a day looking up news! Maybe y'all should do the same!!! Get more informed! I'm 18 years old and I know more about all this than y'all!

    He is a MUSLIM!!!! Who attacked us??? We are in a war with Muslims, why would we elect one as our leader???

    Do any of y'all have a brain one in your head????

    I don't care if he's ashamed of it or not the fact is his middle name is Hussein!!! How much more Muslim can you get??? (go Huckabee!!!!)

    peace out.....boo yah!
    get an education!

    February 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Z

    To all those DUMB Americans who think Obama is ashamed of his Middle name "Hussein"-

    Deep inside you also know – his middle name has been used to instill fear among people.

    Now- Rodham is not Hillary's middle name- for Christ's shake....

    February 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Maryland voter.

    McCain is dirty. He knowed this man. He met him two times. He knowed what he was going to say. I am not voting for him under no circumstances. 100 years of war!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't think so!!!!!!!!!!!! What a fool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Andrew

    I have now decided that the Republican Party as a whole promotes racism. Few are standing against what is wrong. I can't believe what I am seeing and hearing from them. McCain stood up like a man the other day and denounced the remarks by Cunningham. But, then lied about meeting him before. This is most likely because he wanted to distance himself as far as he could. There is some good and bad in that. This is politics as usual. Get the uniformed people (Stupid People), to fear a man because of his name and color. What the Republican Party is not ready for is that we are smarter than they think. There is going to be a backlash that they have never seen before. We are going to vote every Republican out of office that even takes one step towards this racist rhetoric.

    February 28, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Nick

    There's a difference. Nobody goes around calling Clinton "William Jefferson Clinton" all the time, or "W. Jefferson Clinton" like Coultier would like us to do with Obama.

    It's Gerald Ford, not Gerald Rudolph Ford. Are we going to call her Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton? John Sidney McCain? Michael Dale Huckabee?

    When you're not using any of the other's middle name, and you are insisting on using Obama's middle name, which just happens to be the same as a former Iraqi leader, there is only one conclusion as to why you would use his middle name.

    February 28, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    Why isn't the story focused on Tennessee Republicans distorting Obama's record with the Jewish community? Why arent' the people who are responsible being investigated by reporters?

    February 28, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. Richard

    Whats the problem? Is that NOT his name? Names come from family backgrounds, beliefs, and religous factors. His name is Barack Hussein Obama!

    February 28, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Get REal

    3 days in a row, You refuse to publish my comments.......why?

    February 28, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |

    BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, cannot stand for his middle name, HUSSEIN, how he can stand up to face critical issue our country has.

    The fact is, he is a talket than doer. Look...... he never has hearing as member of Foreign relation for Afghanistan. His whining was during the debate I only 13 months in the office and then running for campaign. For 13 months you cannot do anything for something you brag in your campaign. Even HILLARY busy campaign hold hearing.

    I know why B. HUSSEIN OBAMA cannot have hearing, because he is to unorganize and too lazy to read paper that stuck-up on his table. Barrack admitted that about his organized skill during a debate.

    The only Barrack proud about his record is OPPOSED the WAR. Hello ...... everybody, he was not even in the senate to cast his voted to oppose the war. Barrack Husein Obama said opposed the war during a speech. When he came to senate, may be by then he read, then Obama cast his voted to support funding the war. WHAT A FLIP FLOP.

    Barrack couldnot even make-up originality of his own words. He took the title of his book "Audacy of Hope" from his minister that support FARAKHAN. He picked-up Govenrnor's Patrick word for his campaign. No wonder his policies that he campaign are identical with Hillary, because he also copy Clinto policies. I saw Clinton policies first came up in website.


    February 28, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Politically Correct

    This is P.C. run amok, I don't care if his name is Adolf Bin Laden Hitler, he is either a qualified candidate or he isn't. Does anyone really think anyone who is moderately intelligent gives a Rat's Butt (I censored myself trying to get at least one post approved) about the name? Why else would so many people want to hear about his plans, and policy ideas?

    February 28, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Free Country?

    Is this a free country or not? I can't believe this. You can exploit anything with a evil intention.

    February 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Cristyn Hussein

    I am an ardent Obama supporter and volunteer. However, I think to combat this and to reveal the true racism behind Cunningham and other conservative's comments, Obama ought to use his middle name ALL THE TIME. It should be on campaign bumper-stickers and t-shirts. Shove it in their faces, Obama. Then, conservatives won't be able to do anything, or else the true racist motives behind emphasizing his middle name in the first place will be revealed. We shouldn't be afraid of a name. And really, it's not that he shares the name with a cruel dictator that bothers people... many people share a name with Joeseph Stalin. Any discomfort with the name "Hussein" is strictly racial. This is why Barack Hussein Obama's campaign should saturate the media with the name. Supporters are already doing it on the blogs!

    February 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. mchenry

    I had no idea there were so many bigoted ignorant people out there. This is not a soap opera. How about actually focusing on issues? I guess it doesn't matter how you win just so you do. I have always been proud of my country but I sure am not proud of the way we conduct our elections. Stop trying to scare me. I am not stupid. I will vote based on facts, positions, and the things that I know not on speculations about what could happen. That's what we have had for the last 7 years. I do not want more of the same.

    February 28, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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