Following McCain rally appearance, Bill Cunningham used Obama's middle name seven times on Hannity & Colmes

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, conservative radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham used Sen. Barack Obama's middle name seven times in referring to the candidate. Cunningham appeared on the show the same day he appeared at a rally for Sen. John McCain and repeatedly used Obama's middle name.

During an appearance on the February 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, conservative radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham used Sen. Barack Obama's middle name seven times in referring to the candidate. During the segment, after Cunningham referred to Sen. John McCain as "John Juan Pablo McCain," co-host Alan Colmes said to Cunningham: "I notice you make up names for John McCain. You don't call him John Sidney McCain III, which is his full name, but you call him Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama. So you have a double standard there, don't you, Mr. Cunningham?" Cunningham replied: "My standard, Alan Colmes, is for the American people and the American way of life." Introducing the segment, co-host Sean Hannity aired a clip of Cunningham's appearance at a rally for McCain earlier that day in which he also repeatedly referred to "Barack Hussein Obama." Hannity also quoted a portion of McCain's response, saying: "I take responsibility. I repudiate what he said. I will not tolerate anyone that denigrates either Senator [Hillary] Clinton or Senator Obama." Hannity then asked Cunningham, "And your thoughts and reactions to Senator McCain?" Cunningham responded: "Well, my friend, Sean, McCain should be repudiating Democrats and leaving conservatives alone. His people told me to give the faithful red meat. Give them red, raw meat."

Cunningham also repeatedly referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" during the January 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America.

Additionally, the blog Think Progress noted that during the segment, Cunningham both referred to Obama as "this Manchurian candidate" and asserted, "I do not believe Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist or a Manchurian candidate."

During the Hannity & Colmes segment, Cunningham asserted, referring to the controversy surrounding his comments: "What happened to me today is what's going to happen to conservatives for the next eight months if they bring up Barack Hussein Obama's name. Just say his name. All of a sudden, you're going to be electrocuted." Colmes responded: "[W]hat you're ignoring, Bill, is on your radio show, didn't you call him Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama?" Indeed, on the January 6 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Live on Sunday Night, It's Bill Cunningham, Cunningham repeatedly referred to Obama as "Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama." In fact, "Mohammed" is not a part of Obama's name. Cunningham responded to Colmes: "Well, I did call him that once, because Mohammed is the greatest prophet of God according to the Quran." Colmes then said: "So why did you add a name that wasn't his name? Now you're acting like, 'I just said his name.' You didn't do that. You actually inserted the name "Mohammed" to his name. Why did you do that?" Cunningham replied: "I believed at the time that his confirmation and one of his names was Mohammed, and I rescinded the statement. I said Barack Hussein Obama."

Later in the show, while conducting a focus-group analysis of the February 26 Democratic presidential debate, Fox News contributor Frank Luntz said to his focus group participants: "I'm going to say a name to you: Barack Hussein Obama," and then asked: "[I]s there anything wrong with mentioning the candidate's middle name?" One participant responded: "You're promoting racism." Another responded: "I think they're playing off people's fears. There's a fear of terrorism." Another participant added: "It's ridiculous. I don't like to say my middle name."

From the February 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

CUNNINGHAM [video clip]: At some point in the near future, the media -- the stooges from The New York Times; CBS, the Clinton Broadcasting System; NBC, the Nobody But Clinton network; the All Bill Clinton channel, ABC; and the Clinton News Network -- at some point is going to peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama.

HANNITY: That was our friend, Bill Cunningham, speaking at a Cincinnati rally for Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain earlier today. And Cunningham was there to endorse McCain, but the Arizona senator made sure to distance himself immediately after the talk-show host made those comments. And Bill Cunningham now joins us from Cincinnati, the great American that he is.

All right. Bill, your -- apparently, Senator McCain is upset: "I take responsibility. I repudiate what he said. I will not tolerate anyone that denigrates either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama." And your thoughts and reactions to Senator McCain?

CUNNINGHAM: Well, my friend, Sean, McCain should be repudiating Democrats and leaving conservatives alone. His people told me to give the faithful red meat. Give them red, raw meat. And so what I did was deliver a speech about [Antoin] Rezko, the developer in Chicago under a federal criminal indictment, a good friend of Barack Hussein Obama. I spoke about the circumstances involving Obama Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was the fellow who gave a lifetime achievement award to Louis Farrakhan.

HANNITY: To Louis Farrakhan, yep.

CUNNINGHAM: And the [Chicago Mayor Richard] Daley -- the Daley political machine gave us this stealth candidate, this Manchurian candidate. We don't know who in the heck he is. I'd like to know more about Obama.

HANNITY: Yeah, I don't know why everybody's fainting. All of Alan's liberal friends have seen him and fainted at all these events. But look, at the Rezko trial, there's a U.S. district judge today presiding over it told prosecutors they can introduce evidence in this case, Bill Cunningham, to support allegations that Rezko used straw men to make contributions to Obama.

But a lot of people seem to be taking issue with the fact that -- that you use his full name. But now, that is his name, isn't that -- you didn't make it up. That is his name.

CUNNINGHAM: Sean, now why don't you talk to his mother and father, recent -- departed. God bless and God rest their souls. His parents called him Barack Hussein Obama, not me.

And Alan Colmes' good friend, Patrick Fitzgerald, was the U.S. attorney who prosecuted Scooter Libby. He's now prosecuting the good friend of Barack Hussein Obama, and I bet Alan Colmes doesn't know it, doesn't care, and want to ignore it.

COLMES: I don't even know the guy.

[...]

CUNNINGHAM: -- your co-host, Alan Colmes, wants to have, like, a force field around Barack Hussein Obama, and if you touch it, you get electrocuted. What happened to me today is what's going to happen to conservatives for the next eight months if they bring up Barack Hussein Obama's name. Just say his name. All of a sudden, you're going to be electrocuted.

COLMES: By the way, let me point out that on your radio -- what you're ignoring, Bill, is on your radio show, didn't you call him Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama?

CUNNINGHAM: Well, I did call him that once, because Mohammed is the greatest prophet of God according to the Quran.

COLMES: I see. So why did you add a name that wasn't his name? Now you're acting like, "I just said his name." You didn't do that. You actually inserted the name "Mohammed" to his name. Why did you do that?

CUNNINGHAM: I believed at the time that his confirmation and one of his names was Mohammed, and I rescinded the statement. I said Barack Hussein Obama.

COLMES: I see.

CUNNINGHAM: I thought at the time and I was wrong. Alan, I made a mistake.

COLMES: You also had a caller to your radio show refer to him as a terrorist cell. Do you concur with that caller?

CUNNINGHAM: No, I did not concur with any caller. I do not believe Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist or a Manchurian candidate. I do believe we know nothing about this guy from the Daley political machine.

COLMES: You also said, "It would be a shock if Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama could be elected the president of this country in these difficult terrorist times." It sounds to me like you're trying to -- making up names for him, and you're using the word "terrorist" as if you're trying to tie him to terrorism. So you want to explain that statement?

CUNNINGHAM: Very easily. This is a candidate who wants to close down Gitmo, who wants to reinstate habeas corpus, who wants to criminalize -- curtail terrorist activities, and he wants to eliminate key elements in the Patriot Act. I'm referring to that, Alan Colmes, not his name.

COLMES: Does that make him a terrorist? Does that make him a terrorist?

CUNNINGHAM: He is not -- no, he's not a terrorist. But I'll tell you what: His policies might encourage more terrorism.

[...]

COLMES: Your reaction actually -- your actions actually caused John McCain to apologize to Barack Obama for what you said. You put your candidate in that position.

CUNNINGHAM: I did not. He's not my candidate. He is not a conservative. I'm a conservative Reagan Republican, and John McCain embarrassed himself. The local Republican Party, Alan Colmes, has received dozens of calls complaining about John Juan Pablo McCain. They're getting complaint calls.

COLMES: It's funny, I notice you make up names for John McCain. You don't call him John Sidney McCain III, which is his full name, but you call him Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama. So you have a double standard there, don't you, Mr. Cunningham?

CUNNINGHAM: My standard, Alan Colmes, is for the American people and the American way of life.

[...]

LUNTZ: Now, before -- Sean, I know you've got a question. But I have to do one more thing. I'm going to say a name to you: Barack Hussein Obama. Is there anything wrong -- and you're nodding your head, Ron -- is there anything wrong with mentioning the candidate's middle name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #1: Not necessarily, but in this case they're going after the Muslims.

LUNTZ: So? What does that mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #2: You're promoting racism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #1: Yeah, exactly.

LUNTZ: Say that again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #2: I think they're playing off people's fears. There's a fear of terrorism and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #3: Promoting racism.

HANNITY: Hey, Frank --

LUNTZ: Is that an issue? Is that an issue to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #3: It's ridiculous. I don't like to say my middle name.

HANNITY: Hey, Frank?

LUNTZ: OK, let's turn the sound up so they can hear it.

HANNITY: All right, let me ask everybody, because the issue of race now has come up in this campaign, and this -- these are very serious issues that affect the country.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill Cunningham
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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