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. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Barack Hussein Obama is the man's Legal Name. Why shouldn't the full name be used? For the GOP to disallow or complain about the use of a full name that is his Real Legal Name is ridiculous and absurd. If he is elected, his title will be: President Barack Hussein Obama, whether the GOP or the Democratic Party likes it or NOT.

    February 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. retarded

    most of you people are missing the point entirely. It's not the fact that his middle name is Hussein. These people are using it pejoratively and are playing to fear mongering. If you want to deride Obama for being too liberal or being all talk and no action, that's where the fight SHOULD be. It shouldn't be implying that he is going to have a prayer rug in the oval office and start lining up poor saps willing to strap on a bomb. It's just ridiculous and it will lose the election for the Republicans and McCain knows this. This election needs to be about issues, and there are true policy differences between these candidates.

    February 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. HP Boston

    Obama is who?, whats in a name/ the Media is placing this MYTH out there to give BARRY the downtrodden beaten up black muslin man mantra. Well it is working for them, if they can't pin it on Clinton they will try to make McCain the bad guy. The MEDIA IS THE ONE PUSHING THIS GARBAGE!

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Randy G

    Silence!! Any Critisizm or questions about Obama will consider you either as a Racist or UnAmerican. Ask, Chris Mathews from msnbc's Hardball!! Now our freedom of speech is under fire!

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Adrian

    The Tennessee Republican Committee included Obama's middle name and the photo from his trip to Kenya. Only an ignorant fool would think this means he is a Muslim, and only an ignorant fool thinks all Muslims are evil. Therefore, the Tennessee Republican Committee has a very low opinion of its state's citizens.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Tyson Evans

    I just would like to say that there seems to be alot of people who feel as though this was Barack Hussein Obama's request. He didn't ask the idiots/ power's that be, to use thyere ignorance to incite more hate and decension using a man's birth given name. Interesting enough, if he hypothetically was a muslim by birth, there is a such thing as a conversion. There are many African Americans with jewish last names because they were owned by Jewish slaves masters, but guess what, they are Christian. So, Barack has come out and stated that he is a chrstian, so what's this foolishness about him having something to hide. IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Rochester

    he should be proud of his name. double standard w/ capital letters

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Why has the Clinton campaign called Bill Cunningham's radio show and offered to be a guest?? As heard on NPR 2/27/08

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. brad

    Obama didn't pick his middle name, his father did. I'm an Asian American, I vote for him not because of his minority status, not because of his religion (I'm a christian!), but because I truly believe that he's a truly aspiring candidate and he has the gut to lead our country and he will definitely defend America. Shame on you people who don't vote for him just because of his middle name! There's no place in America for racists like you!

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Last one

    Keep doing stories on this CNN, so that there is no one who does not know that Barrack Obama's middle name is Hussein. By the way the names "Barrack" and "Obama" are no picnic either. Lets change his name to John Henry Smith. That should be normal enough.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Ed

    It really puzzles me that this is being blasted. The fact is that Mr. Obam's name is Barack Hussein Obama. We certainly have heard Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed enough over the past years. It's the man's name and like it or not if he is elected president, that will be what history and the nation will know him as. Why hasn't anyone jumped on the Hillary Rodham Clinton issue, that certainly has been utiilzed to try to forge the impression of feminist. This is much ado about fact, and the fact is Mr. Obama's name is Barach Hussein Obama.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Grow

    Barack has not once complained about anyone using his middle name. He is not running from it. Everyone from CNN to the GOP is making a big deal about his middle name. The only person who isn't making a fuss about it is Barack himself.

    Reality Check: Reality check yourself, Hillary Rodham Clinton.. you do know Rodham is her maiden name and not her middle name, correct?

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. GOP

    Obama should tell the American People; that this election isn't about who has which name.
    -But rather who will change NAFTA, and save manufacturing jobs here in America?
    -Who will lower the cost of Health Care so it's affordable for all Americans?
    -Who will do more to change the failing education system here in America so that we don't have more kids dropping out of school than graduating...?

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. JJ

    Lets be Clear, Obama has not complained about the use of his middle name. For all those who say that he must have something to hide if he doesent want people to say his middle name. The problems come in when his name is used as a fear tactic. The only sensitivity to the situation I think Obama has is because of the rumor that he is Muslim here to destroy the world is going around. The use of his middle name is openly trying to fuel that rumor. Nobody says middle names! Think about it.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Mike

    Will the RNC also disavow the lies and "whispers" about all of these Obama stories that are floating through the churches, blogs, radio talk shows, and Fox News ("fair and balanced", my eye):

    Obama went to a fundamentalist Muslim school when he lived in Indonesia - that's a lie.

    Obama isn't patriotic because he doesn't place his hand over his heart when pledging allegiance (or other such nonsense) - also a lie, Internet photos were of a playing of the Star Spangled Banner, not the Pledge of Allegiance. Turn up the sound, idiots!

    Obama will be sworn into office as President with his right hand on the Koran - another lie. He is a Christian, and will be sworn in with his right hand on the Bible.

    I am sure there are others I've missed and many more to come. The RNC's only hope is to depress the vote in November through smear, innuendo, and "whatever it takes".

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. karen

    I have no issues with the use of his middle name. But the INTENT is to spread fear to the American people that "Muslins" are taking over America. This is subtle, directed, racism.

    America and the American people are smarter than this. So I thought.

    Obama was raised by his white mother and white grandparents. He was born in the United States, educated in the United States.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. N

    it's a name! John Sidney McCain III. I'm so offended!

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Rockymo

    Here we go again...politics as usual-just silly. This is really not about what the politicians do..it is about all of us who reject this type of stupidity on both sides of the aisle. It should be about the substance of the campaign for all candidates. But the campaign season is early–let the sillyness begin and let's see if we can prove them all wrong. That "we the people" are really not stupid.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. realist

    A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.! He could be named Barack Bin Laden for all I care–I've voting for him.,

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. kt

    seriously, y is being a muslim a bad thing? fact of the matter is that his middle name, is the same name of the islamic prophet mohammad's grandson, who shia muslims honour as a martyr. he should be proud of who he is, and where he comes from... and think about it.... if a person in his position was denying so strongly that he is not jewish or christian,.. think of how the public AND media would react.

    islam is not a scary religion (this is coming from a catholic)... how it is protrayed in the media (since the only people who get any news are terrorists) is scary.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Empshel

    Good for the RNC!!!

    I am a democrat and a Obama supporter, but I have tremendous respect for John McCain. His determination to keep his campaign issue-oriented instead of allowing the Republicans to do to Obama's campaign what they did to McCain's campaign in 2000 just solidifies that respect.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Just a Name Indpendent Voter in Fort Worth Tx

    This is getting way beyond petty. It is a name his mother and father gave him. Wish I had been named differently myself, but for God's sake it is a name.

    This "non story" always flourishes right before a big election day. To borrow the words of his bipolar opponent, shame on you CNN.

    The name does not convey "who" he is or "what" he stands for. He has stated time and time again he is a Christian. If people will vote for or against someone based on a name, gender, or race, they will believe any headline of the day.

    We need people who can think for themselves. We need people who believe that WE CITIZENS can DEMAND this contry DOES AWAY WITH POLITICS AS USUAL.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Diggy Zazz

    The Israel lobby is terrified that they may have an occupant in the White House who doesn't automatically dance when they pull the strings.

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. HINA





    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Richard Lubowa

    Well, why is he trying to hide his name" hussein"? If he is not a muslim then what is his christian name? where was him baptised?

    February 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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