For the second time in three days, the speaker at a McCain campaign rally used Barack Obama's middle name "Hussein" in a demeaning fashion to ignite the crowd.
Speaking in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Bill Platt, the GOP chair of Lehigh County, twice referred to "Barack Hussein Obama" minutes before John McCain and Sarah Palin were set to take the stage.
Watch the video:
On Monday, a local Florida sheriff preceded Palin's speech by declaring: "On Nov. 4, let's leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what happened."
McCain has distanced itself from the deliberate and malicious use of Obama's middle name in the past. When a conservative radio talk show host first discussed Barack "Hussein" Obama in February, the campaign said it was inappropriate and not reflective of the race they are seeking to run.
But it is hard not to notice how rabid the crowds have recently become at McCain events and how demonstrative they have been in their disdain for Obama. In addition to introductory speakers raising the Senator's middle name in the form of an insult, audience members have screamed out, during recent events, "terrorist," "treason," and "kill him," when the Illinois Democrat's name has been discussed.
Speaking on MSNBC, Bill Burton, Obama's national press secretary, responded to the episode with the following statement.
"People try to use it as an epithet, as a way to stir up feelings about Sen. Obama that are negative," he said. "But they ultimately have nothing to do with our challenges that we are facing right now."
UPDATE: The McCain campaign condemns the remarks. For Obama supporters and others, however, the issue is more about whether McCain will be proactive about this stuff as opposed to reactive.
"We do not condone this inappropriate rhetoric which distracts from the real questions of judgment, character, and experience that voters will base their decisions on this November." --Paul Lindsay, McCain-Palin spokesman
Later in the same event, McCain referred to Americans as his "fellow prisoners." Watch:
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