In case you have somehow missed it, earlier in the week the Tennessee Republican Party put out an official press release referring to Barack "Hussein" Obama's "anti-Semite" positions, featuring the Drudge photo of Obama in Somali traditional garb.

From the Knoxville News Sentinel yesterday:

Tenn. GOP stands by "Anti-Semites for Obama" piece

The state GOP on Monday issued a press release under the headline "Anti-Semites for Obama" that begins:

"The Tennessee Republican Party today joins a growing chorus of Americans concerned about the future of the nation of Israel, the only stable democracy in the Middle East, if Sen. Barack Hussein Obama is elected president of the United States."

The release cites Obama's support from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan and other controversial figures.

The story spread quickly, appearing in news reports and on blogs such as Talking Points Memo and Daily KOS.

The Tennessee Democratic Party issued an immediate response:

"The tone and the accuracy of this release unfortunately is what we have come to expect from the Tennessee Republican Party in recent times, and this release is the worst of the bunch," said Tennessee Democratic Party chairman Gray Sasser. "It amplifies misinformation, discredited tall tales, and internet innuendo to appeal to the worst in people.

"This kind of fear mongering has no place in the public discourse. Senator John McCain has forcefully come out and rejected these types of gutter politics. Now, it is time that Republican leaders in Tennessee like Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander join their Republican nominee and disapprove of these tactics."

The offices of both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lamar Alexander denounced the press release, and Sen. Alexander reportedly told TN GOP chair Robin Smith to retract it. As of this morning, however, the TN GOP had only removed the photo and references to Obama's middle name and was standing by the press release.

The Republican National Committee has reportedly put the TN GOP on notice. According to Politico:

RNC warns Tenn. GOP on "Hussein"

"The RNC has notified the Tennessee GOP that they do not support or agree with their approach," said this source, requesting anonymity to discuss the private conversation between a staffer in the national committee's political department and a top aide at the state party. "If they don't refrain from doing so again, they will be publicly repudiated by the Republican National Committee."

Tennessee Republican Chair Robin Smith is so far standing by Bill Hobbs, the TN GOP Communications Director who put out the press release. Hobbs, a controversial conservative blogger, was previously employed by the Belmont University's marketing and communications department before assuming the post of TN GOP Communications Director. He resigned from Belmont amid controversy surrounding a cartoon that he had drawn and posted on the internet. The cartoon depicted the Prophet Muhammad throwing a bomb.