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'Barack The Magic Negro' Causes RNC Rift

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's campaign manager during the Republican presidential primaries. AP Photo hide caption

itoggle caption AP Photo

On Friday, news reports revealed former Tennessee GOP leader Chip Saltsman — who also ran Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign — had distributed a Christmas CD to Republican National Committee members, featuring a song called "Barack the Magic Negro." Based on the tune "Puff the Magic Dragon," the parody has hit all the right nerves on both sides of the aisle.

Naturally, Democrats aren't amused and Republican leaders are left scampering this week to either defend or reject the ballad. The RNC is currently seeking a new chairman and the row over this song has seemingly created a divide within the party leaders vying for the job.

Chip Saltsman, who is up for the chairmanship himself, released a statement saying that "our party leaders should ... refuse to pander to the media's desire for scandal."

On Politico.com, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell — who is black — has also come to Saltsman's defense.

"When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal," he said. "All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."

Not everyone agrees with Ken Blackwell. According to CBS News:

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer, who has reportedly been mulling a run for the RNC chair, released a statement supporting candidates for the chairmanship who have taken a "firm position" on Saltsman's decision to distribute the "racially-insulting song":

"As the GOP Chairman in one of our nation's most ethnically and culturally diverse states, I am especially disappointed by the inappropriate words and actions we've seen over the past few days," he said. "I am proud of those party leaders who have stood up in firm opposition to this type of behavior."

"Actions such as the distribution of this CD, regardless of intent, only serves to promote divisiveness and distracts us from our common goal of building our party," added Greer.

Here is the song in question (via YouTube):

Let us know what you think.

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