September 24th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
2 weeks ago

Florida congressman points to Palin to rally Jews to Obama

Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, in the foreground, supported Sen. Hillary Clinton during the primaries but is now urging Democrats to support Sen. Barack Obama.
Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, in the foreground, supported Sen. Hillary Clinton during the primaries but is now urging Democrats to support Sen. Barack Obama.

(CNN) – Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida said at a panel about the shared agenda of Jewish and African-American Democrats Wednesday. Hastings, who is African-American, was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race. “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through,” Hastings added as the room erupted in laughter and applause.

After telling attendees that the most important thing Jewish and African-American Democrats could do to support one another was to get Sen. Barack Obama elected president, Hastings had one more message: “For those of you like me that supported Sen. Hillary Clinton, she lost! Get over it!”

Hastings was joined on the panel by Rep. Steven Cohen of Tennessee, who is Jewish and represents a majority African-American district; Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, who is African-American and whose district includes many of the significant sites in the 1960’s civil rights movement; and Georgetown Law Prof. Peter Edelman, who was a legislative assistant to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

Cohen, who recently remarked that Jesus Christ was a community organizer, took his comments about the founder of the Christian faith further Wednesday. “A lot of what Jesus talks about is wonderful,” Cohen said. “Talks about helping people and lifting them up and caring about people who are sick and all those things. He’s a great Democrat.”

The panel was part of the National Jewish Democratic Council’s annual conference. The Jewish Democratic group recently voiced criticism of Palin’s invitation to an anti-Iran rally timed to coincide with Mahmoud Ahmedinajad’s visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Palin’s invitation was withdrawn by the rally’s organizers after Hillary Clinton announced that she would no longer be attending the event.

The support of Jewish voters is shaping up to be a highly sought after prize in the general election match-up between Sen. Obama and Sen. John McCain. Jews have historically favored Democrats by wide margins in recent presidential races. But, the McCain campaign is making a concerted effort to go after the loyal Democratic constituency and Obama has been plagued by false Internet rumors that he is Muslim which have had particular salience in the Jewish community.

soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Ed from Dallas

    “For those of you like me that supported Sen. Hillary Clinton, she lost! Get over it!”

    COULDN'T PUT IT BETTER MYSELF!

    September 24, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. v.ananthan

    Obama is going to split the nation..

    If Obama gets elected peolpe are going to interpret all his actions as whether they are pro-american or not......

    IT^S NOT BECAUSE OF HIS COLOR, NAME OR HIS EXPERIENCE BUT BECAUSE HE CAN NEVER DELIVER WHAT HE PROMISES....

    ITS GOING TO BE A DISASTER FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND FOR THE COUNTRY.....

    AFRO AMERICANS SHOULD CHOOSE A BETTER AFRO AMERICAN CANDIDATE IF THEY WANT TO BE PROUD OF AN AFRO AMERICAN BECOMING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES...

    September 24, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. DMAC in ID/ Independent thinker NOOBAMA

    It is hard to believe that I am reading all this sexist and racist idiocey.
    This goes to show how stupid this has gotten. It is OK for a man to go and hunt and field dress game but not a woman. Talk about a mixed set of standards that are 1000 yrs behind the times. It is VERY SEXIST, AND RACISIST. All of a sudden the Jewish people are teaming up with the Black race. Funny how times change when you get all the radicals yelling and showing their colors on sexism and race. They are all afraid of any woman to be in any power. They are all cowards if this is why they want people to vote against Gov. Palin.

    September 24, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. US Citizen

    Sounds like Sarah Palin manipulated all the citizen of Alaska. I just feel sorry for them. I bet if she goes to the white house she'd be like Dick Chenney always in HIDING.

    September 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. M ROBERTS

    Outrageous, the comparison of Sarah Palin's hunting, etc. to Jews and blacks being endangered by her views. That is bigoted at least, and racist most likely. If McCain or a conservative had made asimilar opposing statement the Coconut News Network and the rest of the left wing media would flip out. Let's leave Race out of the race for the White House, it has no place.

    September 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I still can't believe this guy took such a low road.

    I hope his district sends him packing!!

    September 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    YOU SAID IT.... Palin in her god frenzy and zero experience is as scary as Bush is..... the woman does NOT understand the concept of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE any more than she did the BUSH DOCTRINE.... and guess whose church?

    September 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

    "anybody...don't care" That doesn't sound like good grammar to me! Anyway, it's bad enough America is stuck on a 2-party system...but now we have Jewish Democrat groups and African-American Democrat groups?? Why must we constantly break up Americans into different little interest groups? This is kind of like lobbying, isn't it?

    September 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Bacusla

    As honest as this gentleman sounds; I'm hard pressed to sign on. He should perhaps have phrased this one differently. But tough!

    September 24, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. SAT

    I appreciate the Reps enthusiam. However, he does need to tone it down. Don't make it personal. Stick to stating the differences on policy issues between the two campaigns.

    If te Dems want to make a case to the Jewish community, have a spokesman give those type of sound bites. That would strengthen the argument.

    My husband is a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife. DOW sent an email to all their donors featuring an ad targeted at Gov. Palin's record in Alaska regarding the polar bears and wolves. The ad showed footage of wolves being shot, tortured, etc. I don't know if this ad has started airing on tv. The footage was sickening to watch. It gave me the creeps.

    September 24, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Jason

    Karen – not afraid to speak the truth

    So what you are saying is that YOU are educated enough to know that the seperation of church and State is something Jesus never wanted and that only Dem's want this????

    You are truly pulling my leg here right?

    Jesus gave to and promoted the poor and chastised the rich. Where is it that Republicans do that? Show me how Jesus, who is evidentally a socialist per Repub standards, feels that we should take care of ME & MINE!!! Or to expand that, ME, MINE, and the GOOD OLE BOYS who protect ME & MINE from those horrible socialists.

    September 24, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Charla in TX

    Oh boy......yet another example of how to go about things the wrong way........

    September 24, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. SV

    ALL DEMS PLEASE VOTE ( OBAMA / BIDEN 08 ), AMERICA NEED
    TO TAKE BACK THIS COUNTRY FROM ( REPUBLICANS MAFIA )
    RAPING AMERICA.

    September 24, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Bruce

    NEW YORK – Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin says the United States could be headed for another Great Depression like that of the 1930s if Congress doesn't act on the financial crisis.

    Palin's comments came in an interview Wednesday with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.

    Asked whether there's a risk of another Great Depression if Congress doesn't approve a $700 billion bailout package, Palin said: "Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on."

    UNbelievable,,,,,she need to undedrstand that alot of this is mental and talk like this leads to panic...go back to Alaska

    September 24, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. VIRGINIA will be blue

    I love that he is telling like it is.

    September 24, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Phil in KC

    You go, Alcee! I especially liked his advice to "Get over it!"
    Of course, I don't know what toting guns and dressing moose has to do with blacks and jews.... I'd be interested in hearing the logic behind that. Perhaps it's that conservatives, and that particular brand of conservative, have never supported the issues that matter to that constituency. That I could buy into.

    September 24, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Eli

    He needs to get over it and shut up. This is one time that someone has a leg up on the African Americans. The Jewish people were for sure treated worse and far more executed than the African Americans. So please SIR dont put yourself into the Jewish boat. Im proud that everytime he or a Chris Rock says Hillary lost, get over it, it makes a Hillary fan run to Mccain/Palin or not vote at all. I know this is one Hillary supporter that will not vote for the big O.

    September 24, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. No respect

    What a bunch of racist crap.

    This guy reminds me of another Reverend Wright. What a vile and inappropriate analogy to use. It does a great disservice to jews and blacks. Certainly anyone with a brain would not embrace the words of such an outrageous bigot. Keep race out of the campaign.

    Give Black people and Jewish people the respect they deserve. They will rise above this bigotry and elect the person that they believe will be the best leader. It has nothing to do with "gun toting and moose stripping".

    This is offensive on every level!

    September 24, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. BRIDGE & ROAD TO NO WHERE

    THANK YOU , THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

    WELL SPOKEN, BUT YOU KNOW YOUR CRITICS ARE NOT FAR BEHIND.

    September 24, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Dan in Waukegan

    It’s sad to say but I believe the congressman has hit the nail on the head.

    September 24, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. JusLaugh

    I think the way the McCain camp is treating Palin is very sexist. He is basically saying that women are to be seen and not heard.

    September 24, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. karen raleigh

    Well it's about time someone spoke up and dared to say something negative about Palin–so true

    September 24, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Southerner

    Karen you are an idiot, please re-read the article and post accordingly. Is the McCain campaign paying you well? You want to start a problem which is why you would bring something not in the subject. Go and start a rumor somewhere else.

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Obama all the way....

    Love this guy!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great message!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. jan

    Why should the debate be held up for McCain and Obama to be involved with this problem. They are not going to do a thing and are not the people in charge at this time.

    It seems like McCain does not want to keep his debate.

    September 24, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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