US television ad targets congressman's Arab background

Ominous music plays in background of clip as Rep. Nick Rahall discusses his chairmanship of the Arab-Americans for Obama.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 7, 2010 13:11
1 minute read.
Obama  gestures at White House news conference

Obama hand in air, flag in background 311. (photo credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

CHARLESTON, West Virginia — A West Virginia group led by Republican activists associated with the anti-establishment tea party movement is running an ad trying to link a longtime Democratic congressman to US President Barack Obama, emphasizing the congressman's Arab-American ancestry.

One of the leaders of the group paying for the ad, West Virginia Conservative Foundation, also contributes to a blog that has targeted Rep. Nick Rahall, a Christian of Lebanese descent, and suggested he has ties to terrorists or their supporters.

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The president is considered unpopular in West Virginia. He failed to win in 2008 and state Republicans have seized on the president's low approval ratings in several races, including Rahall's.

State Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart, who founded the conservative group, distanced himself from both the ad and the group Wednesday.

"I don't support that ad in any way, shape or form," said Stuart, who became party chief in July. "I abhor that sort of thing."


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