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Saying it was 'spelling' error, Reuters pulls article that referred to Obama as 'Osama'
John Byrne
Published: Friday February 15, 2008

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In a little noticed flub, the Reuters news agency referred to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) several times as 'Osama' in a widely distributed news article Wednesday, an article they pulled later in the day.

Though transcripts of the original article are hard to find, RAW STORY located one this morning. Many of the corrected articles distributed to news agencies scrubbed the original mistake.

The article was titled, "Obama takes on rivals over economic woes."

The following is reproduced from the cached Reuters article on AOL.

Reuters attributed the mistake to a 'spelling error.' A rewrite distributed later said it "Corrects spelling of Obama in paragraphs 14 and 18."

Many copies of the newly redistributed articles did not append the correction of the original, including one which ran on Yahoo! Canada and America Online.

The earliest reference found to the error appeared on Daily Kos.

JANESVILLE, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Buoyed by a string of eight consecutive victories, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama bashed rival Hillary Clinton over the ailing U.S. economy on Wednesday and also took aim at Republican front-runner John McCain.

The Illinois senator, a day after sweeping three more Democratic presidential contests, unveiled an initiative to produce 5 million new jobs in the green energy sector and promised to create a development bank that would invest $60 billion to rebuild the nation's infrastructure.

"We are not standing on the brink of recession due to forces beyond our control," Obama said. "It was a failure of leadership and imagination in Washington -- the culmination of decades of decisions that were made or put off without regard to the realities of a global economy."

Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president if he wins the November election, made his remarks at a Wisconsin plant that produces GM's popular sport utility vehicles and has been seen as vulnerable to being closed.

He used the occasion to bash both his main rivals, Democrat Clinton and Republican McCain, saying they had wasted billions of dollars and cost thousands of lives by supporting an unnecessary war in Iraq as U.S. senators.

He accused Clinton of changing her stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, saying she supported it when it was signed but now says "we need a time-out on trade."

"I don't know about a time-out, but I do know this -- when I am president, I will not sign another trade agreement unless it has protections for our environment and protections for American workers," Obama said, adding he would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

McCain, riding his own wave of momentum after sweeping the Republican primaries on Tuesday in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, fired back on Iraq, saying developments showed Democrats had been premature in demanding a withdrawal of U.S. forces.

"They said that we would never succeed militarily, then we began to succeed militarily," McCain said in Washington after picking up the endorsement of Republican leaders in the House of Representatives.

In an unusual criticism of McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, Rep. Neil Abercrombie if Hawaii, an Obama supporter who heads a House panel that overseas the Army and Air Force, accused McCain of "dim-witted" posturing on Iraq for presenting U.S. choices as either staying or surrendering.

While Obama campaigned in Wisconsin, which votes next week, Clinton focused on contests in the heavily populated states of Ohio and Texas in three weeks as her best hope to stop Osama's surge.

Tuesday's victories gave Obama scores of additional pledged delegates to the Democratic Party's presidential nominating convention in August.

Obama had 1,078 pledged delegates to Clinton's 969, according to a count by MSNBC, and his campaign said it was unlikely the former first lady would be able to catch up. A candidate needs 2,025 to clinch the Democratic nomination.

"We believe it's next to impossible for Senator Clinton to close that pledged delegate count," said David Poufs, Obama's campaign manager. "The only way she could do it is winning most of the rest of the contests by 25 to 30 points."

Guy Cecil, political director for the Clinton campaign, said after the March 4 contests in Ohio and Texas the total delegate count between the two candidates would be within 25.

The former first lady, who would be the first female president, spent the day campaigning in Texas, courting Hispanic voters, and launched a series of new ads aimed at Ohio and Texas.

She shrugged off Tuesday's losses, saying Obama had been expected to win the contests and congratulating him on his victory. But she issued a challenge, saying: "Tell him to meet me in Texas. We're ready."

The New York senator dismissed Obama's criticism over the economy, saying his plans fell short on extending health care to all Americans, on dealing with the mortgage crisis and expanding the use of renewable energy.

[Editor's note: An even earlier version of the article substituted this paragraph: The New York senator dismissed Osama's criticism over the economy, saying his plans fell short on extending health care to all Americans, on dealing with the mortgage crisis and expanding the use of renewable energy.]

"I don't know how you take on the economy and produce real results for people if you don't stay focused on how we're going to create the good new jobs of the future," she said. "It's a difference between promises and solutions."