September 24th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
3 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. Patrick Peavy

    So refreshing to see more racism coming out of the Democratic party.

    September 24, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Foreign observer

    Jews and Blacks are minorities that suffered a lot. They should easily find some common ground. America was built on minorities.

    September 24, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Proud Southern American Woman

    OK. Now here come the McCain/Palin idiots calling Alcee a racist...

    September 24, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. zina

    He was an HRC supporter in the primaries, so think first before attacking him.

    September 24, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Candi

    To all Jewish communities Obama is you best candidate for President and will do more for you than McCain.

    September 24, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. joe

    muslim rumours, anyone who don't know he is a christian by now is plain ignorant!

    September 24, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Ok...

    I don't understand the connection.

    September 24, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Jan

    Democrats race-baiting again? I admit I know little about the Jewish "faith" but am surprised at their animosity toward Palin. Are they pro-choice? I guess they favor Obama's "soft" attitude toward Iran? Somehow i had the impression that Jewish people were above petty, meanness and had values. Am I dead wrong on this? I am surprised they go along with the vile attitudes of the left and also thought they favored capitalism over socialism.

    September 24, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Election Watcher

    Ha ha! Hastings is a joke. Impeached by 413-3. Keep them coming, this stuff is just too funny!
    "O"bama
    ")" = zero

    September 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Rick

    Another in a long line of insane, corrupt & despicable democrats.

    September 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Chad, Wisco

    Seriously where do they find these people. And more importantly how do they keep getting elected to any office. Maybe they should get voted to Office Max or Office Depot or something.

    September 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. NORA, FLORIDA

    The reality is that it is is Obama or McCain. Transparency vs. Secrecy. This very Secrecy is what has gotton us into the bull that we are in today. GOP never wants to be open and up front with the AMerican people. i.e. Palin refusing to cooperate with the investigation or the media to explain her views or lack of views since we have not heard from her yet.

    This is not sexist this is the real deal folks. I don't want idiots playing politics.

    September 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Baze

    Well I must say this is a powerful rally. The racist lump sum of discrimination against Jews and Blacks is backfiring in one gigantic boom. You know, I think the country will survive our current misgivings, but not the G.O.P.

    ONE NATION

    September 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. cb

    Seriously? Talk about bigotry! Just because someone hunts or is pro-life does not mean they are racist or an anti-Semite. This is ridiculous and CNN should not give such distasteful and offensive ramblings any airtime.

    September 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. independent hanging on by a thread in Texas

    after looking up colors, what I found is black is the ABSENCE of color, white IS color..so Obama isnt the "colored" canidate, McCain is, and so am I !! This "colored" white voter IS voting OBAMA, the most sensible, coolest tempered one, using best judgement, surrounded himself with intelligent minds to help him, not people like Sarah Palin..we NEED a leader with those qualitys, not a POW, which means nothing, are bunches of those, that doesnt make him qualified for president..and Palin sure isnt qualified, and any votes for republicans now IS a vote for Palin, as McCain wont live long enough to do anything..
    Think about it...
    white ( colored) independent for OBAMA

    September 24, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Open Your 3rd Eye

    THIS GUY IS AWESOME!!

    L.O.L.

    September 24, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. james

    I am not going to vote for mccain because we have a low rated president, I am going to vote for Obama because mccain lack judgement on chosing his runningmate, period!

    September 24, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. darko

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

    Ah the party of tolerance... are you frigging kidding me?!?!?! Who says this crap??? Thanks for butchering the english language Alcee...

    More of the same from the 2 bozos that voted twice for the 'Bridge to Nowhere"

    September 24, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Fed Up

    Wow. On the one hand it's refreshing that he was so open in letting that rip. It's funny, since he's black and can't be accused of being a racist.

    HOWEVER, that said, it's 100% certain that the McSame smear team will milk this for everything it's worth and try to pin the comments to Obama. It's sad, but also pathetic to see how predictable they are.

    Just say NO to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    Go Obama/Biden!!!

    September 24, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. J from DC

    NOT ready to lead, NOT ready for the press, NOT ready to be transparent.
    I have to say, I am a little thrown back by Sara Palin. She keeps saying everyday that she wants to bring transparency and reform to Washington. But she does not even have transparency in her own state. She has “instructed” her staff people (who work for her) not to answer subpoenas for the investigation on the trooper case. Citizens of Alaska have inquired about the issue, they want transparency. Now the small case has reached public interest and the rest of the public is now being ignored. Palin is saying that the investigation is now political. But, that happens when you are in office. The other side will ask question and try to shade light on any flaw they see. It is up to her to show that there is nothing to the allegations. If she won’t be transparent on that issue, I don’t think she will be transparent on any serious concerns the American people may have if she gets in office. For undecided voters, she is not being very transparent right now.

    September 24, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. PoliticoMike

    Someone's gotta say it. And enough of people whining about race cards being played. I don't see you whining when the McCain camp cries sexism? Everyone plays a card, they try to use whatever they can, get over it!
    BTW, Owl, you are darn right!!

    September 24, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. LIP

    What a totally racist statement. Look, there is Hillary in the photo, another victim of racism in the primary and she is smiling? Hillary must have a short memory.

    September 24, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. shakin..not stirred...

    What an idiot!! Just go ahead and play that race card!

    I see an apology coming in the near future....and Obama better come out and reject this moron!

    September 24, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. LB

    Palin says another Great Depression is possible. Now isn't she just a great inspiration for the people in America. Just the type of person everyone wants in the White House. No diplomacy, no judgement, no foreign policy experience and no common sense. But she can kill wolves and skin a moose. No wonder the foreign leaders couldn't talk with her for more that 10 minutes. "So have you skinned any moose lately, or how about "buildt any bridges lately?"

    September 24, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Elle

    LMAO! I can't believe he said that! A lot of people think it though. Too funny!

    September 24, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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