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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Says Obama 'May Be Terrorist Connected'

It was an hard day for the Tennessee Democratic party yesterday when Fredd Hobbs, a Tennessee Democratic Party state executive committee member, said that Barack Obama has "some bad connections, and he may be terrorist connected for all I can tell."
Fred Hobbs was explaining why he believed that Lincoln Davis, a rural Tennessee Congressman, was not endorsing Barack Obama and Hobbs went on to state that he was skeptical of Obama himself.

“Maybe [it’s] the same reason I don’t want to — I don’t exactly approve of a lot of the things he stands for and I’m not sure we know enough about him,” Hobbs said when asked why he thought Davis wasn’t endorsing Obama. “He’s got some bad connections, and he may be terrorist connected for all I can tell. It sounds kind of like he may be.”

Rubbing salt in an open wound, Davis' chief of staff, Beecher Frasier, was asked to comment and he said he doesn’t know for sure if Obama is “terrorist connected” but he assumes he’s not.

Davis is not the only Tennessee Democratic superdelegate withholding their endorsement of Barack Obama either.

Representative Bart Gordon (D-Murfreesboro) has also not endorsed Barack Obama.

The Tennessee Democratic Party issued a statement in response to the article quoting Hobbs and Frasier:

The Tennessee Democratic Party is united behind our party’s nominee, Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Hobbs is obviously misinformed, and his statement highlights the perpetual efforts of the Republican Party, especially here in Tennessee, to turn internet smears and highly offensive gossip into their party’s message against Senator Barack Obama as we head into the General Election. Instead of debating the issues, the Tennessee Republican Party continues to rely upon slanderous and salacious tall tales. They are borrowing from the playbook first written by Richard Nixon and employed in the race against Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Tennesseans of every political persuasion are tired of these tactics.”

There is a question about that official statement because the latest reports show that ten out of seventeen Tennessee superdelegates have not yet endorsed Barack Obama.

Following that Beecher Frasier issued his own statement saying, "No one in their right mind, including me, believes Senator Obama has ties to terrorism. It is truly ridiculous for anyone to try to make hay out of these comments."

Harold Ford, Jr, who is the current chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and is a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee, issued his own statement:

Let me be clear about 2 things

First, Beecher Frasier is dead wrong. Senator Obama is a Christian, American patriot with a vision to make America safer and stronger. I am going to join millions of Tennesseans and Americans by working this year this to bring life to that vision by electing Barack Obama President of the United States.

Second, Beecher’s past association with me is just that - past. I’ve had no relationship with him since 2006. I don’t want a relationship with him, or anyone else who says these things. His comments offend me as an American and embarrass me as a Tennessean.

Which leaves us with a glaring question about free speech and the Democratic party.

If these men have serious questions about Barack Obama, whether there is a basis for those questions or they have the right to speak about them?

This news comes on the heels of reports that a Democratic convention delegate, Debra Bartoshevich, publicly said she would vote for John McCain in November.