Republican Presidential candidate John McCain found himself forced to apologise after radio talk show host Bill Cunningham used his campaign rally as a platform for a ranting attack against Barack Obama.

At a McCain gathering in Ohio on Tuesday, Cunningham degraded Obama and called him several times by his middle name, Hussein, in a reference to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Cunningham, who hosts several radio talk show programs sydicated on over 300 stations, spoke on Tuesday at a rally for McCain in Cincinnati.

During his crowd-firing speech, he criticised media coverage of Obama and taunted them to cover Obama’s “sweetheart deals in Chicago and the illegal loans he got in Chicago.”

While referring repeatedly to the Democratic Presidential candidate as “Barack Hussein Obama”, Cunningham called the Illinois Senator a “hack Chicago-style Daley politician.”

Cunningham’s continued use of Obama’s middle name was seen by many critics as a ploy to connect listeners between the candidate and former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

After hearing of the remarks made by Cunningham on his behalf, McCain said in a press conference that he would “not tolerate anything in this campaign that denigrates either Senator Obama or Senator [Hillary] Clinton.”

He also stated that he had never met Cuningham personally.

Cunningham later told listeners on his talk show that he stands by his commentary and that he has “had it with McCain.” S

Sarcastically, he told his fans, “I’m going to throw my support to Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

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