McCain staffer suspended for Obama, pastor video

March 20, 2008 12:57:34 PM PDT
Republican John McCain's campaign suspended a staffer who sent out a provocative video linking Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama to the comments of his spiritual mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The staffer, a low-level aide named Soren Dayton, sent out a link Thursday to the YouTube video, titled "Is Obama Wright?" on the social messaging Web site Twitter.

The campaign suspended him a few hours later, although it wouldn't say for how long.

"We have been very clear on the type of campaign we intend to run and this staffer acted in violation of our policy," campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said. "He has been reprimanded by campaign leadership and suspended from the campaign."

Last month, McCain swiftly denounced the comments of a radio talk show host who, while introducing McCain, repeatedly called Obama by his middle name of Hussein.

The Politico, a Washington-based newspaper, reported that the two-minute video was the work of Lee Habeeb, a former producer of the Laura Ingraham Show, a conservative talk program. In the video, Wright's most incendiary remarks are mixed with snippets from Obama speeches and interviews, which are edited to make the senator seem to be sputtering and unpatriotic.

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