Defending The "Hussein" Game

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

(MILWAUKEE) For the second time in three days, the McCain/Palin campaign on Wednesday issued a statement calling "inappropriate" a pre-rally speaker's use of Barack Obama's middle name "Hussein."

In Fort Myers, Florida, on Monday, it was Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, dressed in his law enforcement uniform, who drew loud cheers at a Sarah Palin rally when he said, "On Nov. 4, let's leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what happened."

Then at a Wednesday McCain/Palin rally in Bethlehem, Pennsylvaina, William Platt—the chairman of the Republican Party of Lehigh County—dropped the "Hussein" bomb twice in referring to the Democratic candidate, who was named after his Kenyan father.

After Platt spoke, I got reaction from six rally attendees on whether they thought it was appropriate for McCain/Palin supporters to mention Obama's middle name—a tactic that seems designed to portray Obama as someone who's not a true-blue American Joe.

Five out of the six people at the Bethlehem rally who spoke on camera said that it was perfectly acceptable to bring up Obama's middle name. One woman wondered aloud whether Obama was trying to try to cover up his "Muslim heritage." Although Obama is a Christian and was not raised a Muslim, rumors to the contrary persist.

Watch the video below.

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.