McCain Introducer Referred to "Barack Hussein Obama"

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Feb 26, 2008 2:41 PM
Introducting McCain today in Cincinnati, conservative talk radio host Bill Cunningham twice referred to Barack Obama by his full name:  "Barack Hussein Obama." 

McCain -- who wasn't present during the introduction -- is distancing himself from the remarks:  

McCain spoke to a couple hundred people at Memorial Hall in downtown Cincinnati. "I apologize for it," McCain told reporters, addressing the issue before they had a chance to ask the Arizona senator about Cunningham's comments. "I did not know about these remarks but I take responsibility for them. I repudiate them," he said. "My entire campaign I have treated Senator Obama and Senator (Hillary Rodham) Clinton with respect. I will continue to do that throughout this campaign. McCain called both Democrats "honorable Americans" and said "I want to dissociate myself with any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them."
Should the McCain folks have seen this coming?  Maybe -- Media Matters reported in January that Cunningham used this same line on Hannity's America.

My prediction: this may help Obama.

Update:  Here's a YouTube clip of the opening act.  It does not include him referencing Obama's middle name, however.  But it will give you an idea of the tone of the introduction.  Personally, my concern isn't with the tone.  I think it's fine to get fired up.  My concern is any sort of implication that Obama is Muslim (he says he's not), or any reference to him as "Osama" or references to Hussein (which obviously is a lowbrow attempt to remind people of Saddam). Also, keep in mind, this comes on the heals of the leaked photo of Obama wearing Islamic garb. Ultimately, I think these sorts of attacks will unfairly hurt McCain (and help Obama).