December 26th, 2008
03:10 PM ET
12 years ago

RNC chair candidate sends out controversial Obama song

(CNN) - A candidate for Republican National Committee chairman said Friday it was clear the content of a CD he sent committee members for Christmas - that included lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro” - was intended as a joke.

“I think most people recognize political satire when they see it,” Chip Saltsman told CNN. “I think RNC members understand that.” Saltsman, a former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, was a top advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign.

The song, set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” was first played on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in 2007. Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation’s history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the song, penned by long-time friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.

The parody CD sent to RNC members this Christmas, first reported by The Hill Friday, is titled “We Hate the USA”, and includes songs referencing former presidential John Edwards and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, among other targets.

Filed under: Chip Saltsman • RNC
soundoff (376 Responses)
  1. Patty in the CA mountains

    A joke's only funny if both people laugh....

    December 26, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Madsal

    Why can't you ignorant Republicans realize that the election is over and the most qualified and most intelligent candidate has won and there is nothing more that you can do at this time. If you think you are setting the stage for 4 years later, then you are sicker than even you know. There is no way you will ever take this country backwards once it has had a taste of the goodness that President Obama is going to present to all of America, not just some.


    December 26, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Kyle

    The song was first played on Rush Limbugh's show....enough said. Besides, after getting their butt's kick the past two election cycles, you would think the RNC would learn.

    When people from the left use satire, it is usually to point out the truth. When people from the right use satire, its just for publicity. Have fun not getting any more young people and minorities like me to join your party.

    December 26, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    Keep it up!! Drive America to the dirt. Somehow they are no worse than the Talibans

    December 26, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Phoenix

    For those of you who say he's not black, why did he choose "Barack the Magic Negro?" Why didn't he say, "Barack the magic Bi-Racial," or Barack the magic half white?

    December 26, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Eve former republican

    The republicans will continue sinking and sinking until they'll finally disappear and remembered as a racist party

    December 26, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    There's no need to endorse reckless behaviours.

    December 26, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. windfall

    the Republicans are such pigs, and Rush is the head hog.

    December 26, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. serah

    Obama and his incoming administration is likeable. He cannot change that, people just like it and are fascinated by Obama ....actually not only in the US but also in other countries. GOP cannot stomach that majority of the world like Obama and his incoming administration so what they do is pup in the midst of the ceremony. Just afew individuals in GOP are misleading others who do not have time to make their own decisions and stand up for what their conscience declares as right and ethical..that is the problem. I believe the children of these individuals are strongly opposed to their ideas.

    December 26, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Carol

    Although I am from Texas, I have lived near Nashville, Tennessee for 20 years. I am not surprised in the least at this bigotry! There were Tennessee politicians still saying they "think Obama is a Muslim" as recently as 2 months prior to the election. In my town, which has always had both a Democrat and Republican Headquarters it was decided to NOT have a Democratic Headquarters this year as soon as Hiliary Clinton was out of the running. That spoke volumns to me and shows how much racism and bigotry run through this state and unfortunately many others.

    December 26, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Gail

    everytime a Republican opens their mouth, it sets that party back another 20 years. Go Obama! I have no doubt you will go down in history as the BEST president the USA has ever had. One for the Dems. And The IdiotW has a 25% approval rating – go GOP – you do so much to help the progressive thinkers of this nation!

    December 26, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. happy new year

    this has got to be the worst RACIST act the republicans have pulled lately, they should be investegated and made to apoligize, what will they do next, try to get the kkk riled up again, shame on them.

    December 26, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Gail

    ...and the GOP still doesn't get it. America just isn't going to put up with this kind of racism any longer. At least we know where it comes from – conservative Christians who call themselves Republicans. Despicable.

    December 26, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. mike

    Then they wonder why they keep losing seats. Satire and ignorance are 2 different things. Have they ever made cd's like these in the past? Who has the time to do this and I hope they made sure that their Black republicans received these cd's. So they can wake the hell up. They don't respect you......

    December 26, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. C'mon...

    Yeah..."The Lazy Negro" and "Steppin' Fetchit" were satire too I guess....

    The Repuglicans just don't get it...America is through with the race baiting, polarizing, demeaning, dividing and otherwise ruining of this country and our sense of right and wrong. They are too mired in all of that to even notice the winds of change.

    Good ridance to you all.....

    December 26, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. stuart smalley is the next senator from Minnesota

    Problem is, even if you "down-play" the racism and try to be objective, this satire is not funny.

    December 26, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Inagrace T. Dietterich

    This is my first response to a news story, but this is simply beyond belief. As others have said, this certainly demonstrates why the GOP has lost all credibility. While as a liberal Democrat I might welcome their total lack of intelligence, as an American citizen I am appalled that anyone could go so low as to send such a message.

    December 26, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. Remy

    If a comedian does a JOKE, it is Satire even he/she uses politically incorrect words but Politicians use RACIST words and claim it is satire is not acceptable.

    RNC = Racist National Commitee.. I accept this new meaning from other posters here.

    How many Jews are ready to accept the anti-semetic remarks as jokes?

    December 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Greg Hodges

    As if there was need of more evidance the Republicans do not have outright racists in their midst; behold Exhibit A. They are a bunch of very,VERY sick puppies in need of immediate therepy & counseling. I would say shame on them; but what is the point. They clearly do not get it, and they never will!!!

    December 26, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. DIZIZI31

    Political Satire!! sure if you're trying to audition for SNL.. 2008 the tale, saga of desperate men. I know it's a shock RNC, but we the People in order to form a more perfect Union...elected Mr. Obama as 44th President of the USA.

    December 26, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. Raul In California

    I've been saying this for a long time "the republican party needs a total, complete overhaul" ...get rid of people like this bozo who thinks the america people enjoy "such humor"..... Someone needs to ask him ...What color is Obama's intelligence, demeanor, steadniness,wisdom,content of character,understanding of the global picture,ability to inspire, ability to unite, grace under fire, etc, etc......
    Obama-Biden were elected because their commitment to our Country and their ability to work on behalf the interests of the american people.....
    I have friends who are republicans, I love them and respect them. But God! they deserve better leadership coming from their party.....

    December 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Gail

    OK GOPers, here's some fun political satire.

    (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

    Bush and Cheney - Rice and Rumsfeld - Liars,Thieves and Thugs.
    They murder children – And Lie to Citizens– and tell us all is well. HEY!
    Bush and Cheney – Rice and Rumsfeld – they stole Iraq's oil... Now they're leaving and want to know why don't you like the Idiot W?

    (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

    just fun political satire......

    December 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Renee

    I am white, and am amazed and appalled that this man could do something so degrading and in such poor judgment. He should step down from his position. Unbelievable!

    December 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Madsal


    December 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. An American Patriot Conservative

    Is it because he used the word "Negro"?

    I have heard a lot of people talk about the "Magic" of this election, and Barrack Obama?

    Not sure what all the fuss is all about

    December 26, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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