September 24th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
6 years 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. Lois Blasenheim

    Yay Alcee!!!!!!! These are the best commnets of the campaign so far!!!!

    September 24, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Move foward for Obama!

    Hastings is so right about the Clinton part. You can not move forward going backwards.

    September 24, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Ryan in VA

    I dont really get this at all......

    September 24, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. therealist

    Nothing like a race baiting democrats to stur up hate..

    September 24, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. what's good for the goose

    If uninformed african american voters will vote for Obama just because he's black. I'm going to Vote for McCain because I like the way Palin looks.

    September 24, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. CR in WI

    Ummm,
    I wouldn't adopt this tactic on the national stage.
    Obama's edge is with the population that thinks things through, and we who want serious, educated change in the whitehouse.
    It does zero for us to have representatives stereotyping anyone.
    Sure you're trying to fire up a base, but hell you are speaking to a room full of democrats, no need to say silly things that will come back 1000 times to wedge this society further. Bring it together, dont split us apart.
    BO08

    September 24, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. ken

    I am an Irish and there is an Irish vote coming for Obama.

    Obama=Kennedy of today. What a nice feeling to have such a man in the white house!

    September 24, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Chris B

    Belle – this isn't the race card. What he's saying is that she's out of touch with many African American and Jewish concerns. It's kinda like how rural voters don't connect with Obama and are scared he'll take their guns. It's more about culture than race.

    September 24, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Karen - not afraid to speak the truth

    Why would an African-American use race-baiting?
    How does a person carrying a gun and shooting moose equal a person disliking Jews and African-Americans? False equation. Irrational argument. And the use of the carrying a gun and moose shooting is a prejudicial remark made against Governor Sarah Palin.

    Jesus Christ did not go out to force a rally of people together like a community organizer does. People came to Him on their own accord.
    Of course, since "community organizer" is actually not written inthe Bible, a misinterpretation such as this comparison results.

    Why is it that Democrats, who forcefully want state and religion separated, use Jesus Christ and claim Him as being a Democrat? Why try to consolidate religion wiht politcs now? Was Bill Ayers, Senator Barack Hussein Obama's close friend of the underground Chicago school movement and self-called community organizer and actual non-repentant Pentagon bomber, like Jesus Christ?

    Twists of truth like the Democrats are using reveal two things: fear of losing, and lack of advanced education. Best wishes to overcoming your fear and facing the truth and giving a life of falsehoods.

    September 24, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Rodger

    Let's be honest, she is for "Jews for Jesus" Remember she was picked by McCain, showing his total lack of judgement and the fact he puts being elected first instead of "America First" Place the blame of her even being on the ticket where it belongs....John McCain!!!!
    Any Jew that votes for McCain insted of Obama should be ashamed of themselves.
    66 year old Jew born and raised in San Francisco

    September 24, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Bulldog

    Sarah Palin is being treated like she is a delicate flower that will die if handled wrong. The media needs to either get her to answer some TOUGH questions are boycott her. Quit giving in to her outrageous demands.

    September 24, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. conny

    You go boy! Hopefully fla., want cheat people out of their votes

    September 24, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Dana

    AMEN TO THAT!!!
    Her extremist church promotes anti-israeli sentiments, although no one talks about that- Only Obama's faith can be called into question on sermons that ocurred when he wasn't even present. Palin is part of a church that uses a witch doctor to help her become Governor (check it out on youtube in her own words- dont take my word for it)- and believes the Jewish people are being punished for not believing in Jesus (can also be seen on youtube)... I think the interests of the Jewish people are quite clear.

    Obama/Biden 08!!

    September 24, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    SADLY, Rep. hastings is right! There is a bit of fascism creeping into the far-right that supports Palin.......... that is down-right scary!

    I do not know what Bible Palin reads but Jesus taught love, peace and justice! Anyone who believes in a punitive 'god' DOES NOT KNOW MY....GOD! God is love, He does not take sides, He does not relish war and violence!

    People need to wake up. AND THE MEDIA HAS TO INVESTIGATE 'TROOPERGATE' JUST LIKE THE PRESS BROUGHT DOWN NIXON!

    @ BELLE: RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL, SAD BUT TRUE. Like it or not.

    September 24, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Bob (Illinois)

    Now if Mr. Hastings could convince Bill Clinton of that fact.....

    September 24, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. CR in WI

    er, thank god Biden didn't say it?

    September 24, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. KATHLEEN

    Mr. Hastings, Keep talking!. Sounds good to me!!!!.

    From a White Catholic woman of 63 retired and WANT TO KEEP
    FULL S.S. CHECK THAT I EARNED!!!!. The Republicans WILL
    succeed in "Privatizing your S.S. check which means, you will get
    only half of your check: the rest goes into gambling it away in the
    Stock Market-YOU KNOW!!!! WALL STREET!!!!

    Voting for Obama Biden on Nov. 24!!!!

    Never a doubt in my mind, nor will there ever be!!!!! Been for Obama
    from Day 1.

    GO FLORIDA FOR OBAMA!!!!!!! Don't let the Republicans "tinker" with your vote. You know how Karl Rove can be??? Let's move on!!!!

    And thank you Mr. Hastings!!!!

    September 24, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Sharon - Iowa

    Sometimes it takes a little "ridiculousness" to get the attention of those who haven't been paying attention. Palin is as phony. She was hand picked by the likes of Cheney and Bush for just this reason- to throw an election their way only. Don't be fooled, listen to this wise man. The heart of Obama is genuine, and sincere in improving our lives.

    September 24, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Alice

    Most african Americans support Obama. Only one-half of female caucasian Americans support Palin. It is just the way it is. Race not issues are salient. But when I am told to vote a certain way because an individual carries a gun and hunts I draw a line in the sand. This guy makes me believe that democrats will say anything to get elected. And most women of jewish faith, black or caucasian, will be appalled by his comment. Obama supporters are turning some independents against Obama and we can ill afford it.

    September 24, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. The BOTTOM Line.....

    NOW THAT WAS SOME "STRAIGHT TALK"...LOL. :-D

    September 24, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Enough

    The democrats are the ones playing all the hate cards- anti-woman, race-baiting, pandering for evangelical and jewish votes.

    Just let the voters decide who they think is best.

    September 24, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Bulldog

    Why isn't FOX news talking about Sarah's minister who baptised her. He is a "witch hunter" who openly admits and brags about it. Come on FOX where is the "fair and balanced." They are so desperate now they are trying to resurface the Rev Wright thing again. What a disgrace.

    September 24, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Beca

    What a racist!

    September 24, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. d

    BELLE..HIS COMMENTS WERE LESS ABOUT RACE AND MORE ABOUT RELIGION! If you do not believe me, just research the views of the PENTACOSTAL religion as it pertains to Jews..

    September 24, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Tom in S.A.

    Comparing moose to Jews and Blacks, boy this guy is out there, but then again he's a Dem.....

    September 24, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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