In Ohio yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appropriately apologized after right-wing talk radio host Bill Cunningham opened his campaign rally by pejoratively referring to Sen. Barack Obama’s middle name Hussein while calling him “a hack.” “I did not know about these remarks, but I take responsibility for them. I repudiate them,” McCain told reporters.
McCain’s repudiation stung Cunningham, who bellowed against the senator on his show later in the day. Cunningham claimed McCain “threw me under the bus for the national media” and then said that he would now “throw” his “support behind Hillary Clinton.”
Right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who also blogs for National Review, called McCain a “loser” for distancing himself from Cunningham’s caustic comments. Listen to it:
Because he won’t stoop to their low rhetorical level, right-wing radio is now telling McCain that he can “say good-bye to any hope of winning over the conservative base.” Apparently McCain doesn’t have enough hate for “hate radio.”
UPDATE: Even Karl Rove says that conservatives shouldn’t demagogue Obama’s middle name if they don’t want to appear “bigoted.”