Feb 29,2008 00:00
WASHINGTON - Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan Thursday condemned the Tennessee Republican Party's use of Barack Obama's full name in a recent release.
CNN reported that the party's press release, issued Monday, called into question the Democratic presidential hopeful's patriotism, and referred to the Illinois senator by his full name: Barack Hussein Obama.
The press release also contained a photograph of Obama in traditional Somali clothing, taken during a 2006 visit he made to Kenya.
"The RNC rejects these kinds of campaign tactics," Duncan said in a statement. "We believe this election needs to be about the critical issues confronting our nation."
Tennessee Republican Party Communications Director Bill Hobbs told CNN the party will no longer use Obama's middle name in press releases.
"We're not going to be using the middle name now because apparently it's become a distraction," he said. "But I would note not too long ago I saw a wire story out of the Middle East that talked about how a lot of people there are hungry for Obama to win and in part because his middle name gives him a connection, and that story used his middle name, so we're not the first people to notice and use his middle name."
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