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. Frank

    Why can't he use Hussein? Is he not proud of his name?
    I'm sorry but I just don't know this person. I can't vote for him.

    February 28, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. SK


    February 28, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Bob

    There's nothing wrong with using a candidates middle name. However, in being fair an balanced, you should use the middle name of each candidate.

    If you say Senator Clinton, then you should refer to the other candidates as Senator Obama, and Senator McCain. If you say Barack, then you should refer to the other candidates as John and Hillary. If you just say McCain, then you should refer to the other candidates as Obama and Clinton.

    To use Senator Obama's middle name alone is just part of the fear campaigning that the republican party has been doing since Bush's reelection.

    February 28, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Paul

    To quote Muhamid Ali, "Whats my name?"

    February 28, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. keith Franklin, Tn

    Being from the Nashville area, you have to understand that the RNC Hobbs is a blogger who is a Karl Rove wannabe. He will stop at NOTHING to defame any person who is not conservative. He is simply gutter trash. He used to be an employee of a Baptist College there hiding behind his computer until he got caught.

    I am so sick of those who persist in the divisiveness in this country and perpetuate hate mongering.

    Karl Rove, Tom Delay.......really make a person proud to a Moderate

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Mike M

    Isnt' that his name? I dont see what the big deal is. Sad days are coming when people can't refer to others by thier full (legal) name.

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Bob

    Same old RNC/Tenessee Republican Partygarbage. Critcizing Obama because of a few idiots (who he has denounced!) who praised him. This sounds too much like the fear-mongering campaign that was waged in 2004.

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Karen

    Obama can deceive our American people so we cant trust him at all. We all can't vote him for President period and throw him out of the race. Obama would hurt our America if he will be elected for President. No way, please protect our America because Obama did not use the American pin or other things. No way! Obama strongly hides something from us and look at his facial expression. When Obama will be elected, he laughs at usd because we are stupid to vote for him. No way!! Please think twice so we need to protect our America!!

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. John, Encino, California

    Good for Mike Duncan. This was a smart political move as well as being the right thing to do. The conservative radio talkshow host in Cincinnati who John McCain "threw under the train" deserved what McCain said about him. This kind of rabidly partisan, borderline hate-mongering has no place in our political process. It is all about divisiveness and paranoia, not intelligent discourse. Using Obama's middle name over and over again is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to plant seeds of fear in the minds of voters. More people like Duncan need to speak out. The Republican leadership in Congress should condemn it as well.

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Marie

    Nothing wrong with Senator Obama's middle name or the use of it at all.

    But apparently even the GOP sees the waste of time and diversionary nature in which it is being bandied about by the petulant childisih maligners of Senator Obama's character (since this is likely their last ditch effort to stop the momentem he continues to enjoy) who live in their world of ignorant, fear-mongering and are terrified and can't grasp anything or anyone outside their fragile closed minded box of thought. How sad for them and their candidate of choice.

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Ann

    Obama fuels these speculations himself.
    No one would think anything of it, if he used his
    middle name...actually pledged allegiance to the flag,
    and magically his wife was honored to be an American
    citizen. Taken separately no one would pay attention.
    Put these things together, and it raises a few eyebrows..
    or it should if CNN wasn't always downplaying them.

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |

    If the media didn't make an issue of it (they can't help their pitiful selves), then no one else would. That talk show host would have bee n seen as the buffoon that he is. His purpose was to insinuate that Obama is muslim. Everybody knows that he isn't , but do you see or hear the media stressing the fact that he isn't? Even if he were muslim (again, which he isn't) why won't the media let it go? The media has become this country's worse enemy. They remind me of children who push-up fights on the play ground.

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Gabrielle

    lets be real, no matter what your name is , the important things , is to know if this man is experienced and capable enough to run this country.

    February 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. MediaJunkie, Arlington, VA

    Nobody goes around calling people by their full names. Seriously, when did anyone regularly call Lyndon Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson? I don't even know what Reagan's middle name was. George W. Bush's initial is used to differentiate between he and his father. Yes Hussein is Obama's middle name. But is there any doubt as to why people bring up that particular name? So enough with the it's his name, why isn't he proud of it crap.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Upstate Deb

    Give me a break – it IS his real, legal name, isn't it?

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Yosef

    Oh the guy switching?? He is black, what do you expect. 80% of blacks are voting for Obama. 80% is more than the curve allowed for any group in surveys, the only factor that allows a candidaite in a survey this kind of support is a biased opinion.

    A black superdelegate (California or New Jersey) that supports Hillary was asked, "Will you switch to Obama?" He replied: "Why does the media only ask the blacks superdelegates about switching to Obama, How come no one asks the white delegates to switch to Hillary??
    The media person could not answer!!! I thought it was funny as hell, that the media person and the Obama superdelegate could not say anything.........

    This is what people need to understand, blacks want Obama because when he says that he will help people get jobs and there is hope. He is referring to the blacks and their misfortunes. Hope is for them, not the rest of America.

    CHANGE is what he is going to do, blacks will be heads of depts and policy will be biased towards them.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Denounce

    For you fools that don't know, Obama is not hiding anything with respect to his name. He's not the one asking for his name to be removed. Obama has been dealing with this all his life, so it's nothing new for him. He expects ignorant people to place a lot of focus on his name. It's those idiots out there that use his middle name as a cheap attack. The most ridiculous thing about this whole matter is that it causes harm to Muslims. There is nothing wrong with being a Muslim. They are good people. It's a shame Muslims are so disrespected, because of STUPID people in this country. Muslims are not Terrorists. Extremists are Terrorists. Shame on our ignorant, uneducated citizens of America. CNN needs to bring this to light.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Andrew

    It's not the use of his full name that is wrong. It's the fact that idiots like Bill Cunningham and the Tennessee GOP use it with the political purpose of questioning his patriotism and his loyalty. The truth is that the are a number of ignorant Americans who will not vote for him because of his middle name and they wish to exploit that fact by bringing attention to his middle name. Just like with the photo: it's not displaying the photo that is wrong, but showing the photo to try to portray him as a Muslim and discredit him that is wrong.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Cally

    Mr.O, please change your name.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Mike

    Very good. Let's prohibit the use of Rodham if Hillary gets the nomination. We should also rename JFK airport to just JK, MLK Day to just MK day, FDR Drive to just FR Drive, etc.

    If Obama is this sensitive about his middle name, he can legally change it. If Democrats are so upset about anyone using it, then they must have a very weak opinion about their candidate.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Kim4Obama

    First of all this is not coming from the Obama camp. Obama I am sure has no problem whatsoever with his birth given name. Clearly the problem is that in addition to using his full name they also have the picture in what appears to be Muslim attire when in fact it is traditional Kenyan garb. That is the issue. How does this have anything to do with Obama hiding anything. He is proud of who he is and has never shown anything to the contrary. He is the first to state that his mother is white and father is African. Where in this article does it state that Obama has come to them regarding their statements. When have you ever heard Obama say anything about not using his middle name. Further, how many of us actually go around introducing ourselves using our full names unless you do not have a middle name? Lord have mercy... let the games begin.... Oh and you folk who believe people are walking on eggshells with him are delusional.

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

    I am SOOO tired of people talking about Obama's middle name. If you judge a guy based on the name his parents gave him you're an idiot and you shouldn't even be allowed to vote. Seriously... I wish they had IQ tests at the polls....

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Terrell

    What is the big deal? If Obama has a problem with his name being used, he should have changed it. I'm sick of him whining about everything. What kind of president would he make? He acts like a spoiled child.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. wow

    If using his middle name doesn't carry any racial or religious overtones than why aren't they using Hillary's middle name or John McCain's middle name (which are Diane and Sidney respectively). They are trying to play up peoples fears of more terrorist attacks, the middle east, and Muslim people in general. Barack does not routinely use his middle name (i.e. he is not introduce with his full name, etc.) so it is just the efforts of the conservatives in this nation to retain control of our country by playing on the fears of the American people. We cannot live in fear, we can only try our hardest to make a better future in our country. We should be focusing on the problems at hand such as the Iraq war and the faltering economy of our nation instead of focusing on this politics of fear.

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. Suzanne

    Obama has never been ashamed of his middle name, nor has he ever condemned anyone from using it. He's of Kenyan descent.

    The sensitivity comes from the horrible middle eastern war Bush got us into and the GOP's fear mongering tactics.

    To Independent's comment above........good one!

    February 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13