September 24th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
5 months 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. wendy spice

    Talk the things them sound words. They better take the warning.

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

    I don't want to discuss race anymore. I know that there are people who will not vote for Obama because of that, but there are plenty of whites who are showing their support in spite of the ignorance of some. If we want to discuss race, I wish we would find a better forum, and a better way to do it versus making random comments.

    September 24, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. ltd1974

    Cnn post this

    The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll will be released at 6:30 pm ET, but here's an early look at one set of numbers:

    Forty-nine percent say that Palin is unqualified to be president if the need arises, compared with 40 percent who say she's qualified.

    By contrast, 64 percent believe Biden is qualified to be president, versus just 21 percent who disagree.

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

    What a shame! Rep. Hastings saying just because someone knows how to hunt and take care of their game taken how can you in any way shape or form put that on the same ground as the with the holocaust?
    You are an ignorant FOOL!
    Hopefully the people who voted for you now see you for the ignorant sick fool you are! Hopefully they will VOTE you out ASAP.

    How dare you!

    NRA stand up against this fool!
    Hastings is clearly a danger to the public to even think any AMERICAN would do think or act this way.

    I support all AMERICANS who hunt and provide for their families by hunting. So, if you are a hunter remember this fools name.

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Are you kidding

    "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks" That comment doesn't make sense in any context. U.S. Soldiers tote guns and quite a good number are hunters ergo "they don't care too much about Jews and blacks?" I also like the attempt to take a persona that is supposed to be a universal figure and applying the Democrat label to them. The last time I checked, the two parties were not even around when this person walked the earth. I really wish our elected representatives were more informed and aware of the ramifications of what they say.

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    There is no need to play any race card, the world saw the Republican convention there was less than 1% blacks at the convention (if that), Palin you can tell is racist her teenage daughters boyfriend is a redneck racist, and I have yet to hear Palin reach out to blacks and tell them what she plans on doing for us not once. So its a fact not a race card, and if your not a racist you shouldn't be offended. Check yourself clearly before your yelling blacks are playing the race card, we don't have to. Your uncle McCain did it by trying to scare white voters about Obama but as you see that's not working. And the Republicans also don't give a care about women there using Palin and thats not working either.

    Go Obama keep the good fight!!!

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Shawn - GA

    WOW, this guys is jsut as full of hate as all the other Obama supports.

    WHY? that is what I don't understand, why are so many Obama supporters so hateful? Read the comments on these blogs and you get sick to your stomach at the things people type about people they don't even know.

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Jason

    Obama never had been to western europe before July. But no one in the media brings that up. No one.

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Stacy in PA

    Let's remember Obama was born through the womb of a white mother from America and his father was an African from Kenya. We most learn to come together and celebrate both sides of his heritage instead of finding reasons to be divided. I'm thankful for both of his parents and more importantly God for bringing him to us. His background will serve as testimony for all racists that two different worlds can come together and conceive a beautiful future for us all. We need to stick together and get out and vote.

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Hitler Youth for Obama

    The democrats are being very vile and bigoted and playing dirty this election.

    Maybe it has to do with how OBAMA rose so quickly in the dirty Chicago style politics.

    This is not the change I want to see.

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Debra Greenwood

    You said it, Alcee! It is time for everyone in America to consider what outcome from the November election is in their best interests. Unless you make $250,000 or more, you would fare much better with Obama-Biden than with McCain-Palin.

    The Republicans have promoted deregulation of the financial sector which has been a large reason for the disastrous current state of the U.S. economy.

    If you want more of the same, vote McCain.
    If you want a brighter America for all of us, the choice is obvious...

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Brian

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

    That is a very small-minded and racist comment.

    September 24, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Ryan

    I'm a Republican voting for Obama. I hate it when this kind of stuff gets out there. It just shows how truly wacked out some of the religious right are.

    Oh, and just to clarify. I'm a Christian but this kind of stuff is ridiculous. Religion and politics should be kept separate. We should be tolerant of each others views.

    September 24, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. KATHLEEN

    We need the young uns to win the election in Florida!!!!.
    KNOW, young people that your vote will count if Rove doesn't tamper
    with it.

    Obama Biden 2008

    Vote Obama Biden if you don't want your folks knocking on your door
    without S.S. and Medicare because in a Republican Admin., they won't
    be making it a priority. And think about your inheritance, young adults!!!! WE REALLY NEED YOU!!!!! THIS TIME MAKE IT TO THE
    POLLS. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!

    September 24, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Tom

    Every liberal who supports this kind of despicable, race-baiting, religion-baiting, antagonistic garbage should be ashamed of himself/herself. It's OK to disagree...that is the beauty of this great country. But to sink to these levels is un-American. Please–PLEASE–do not let this type of "leader" speak on your behalf.

    September 24, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Jeffrey

    There's no need for comments like this. It's just leads to more divisiveness. The Democrats can and will win on the issues.

    September 24, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. soccer moms for obama

    thank you.
    that goes for all people of color.

    vote obama or we are in big trouble.

    obama 08

    September 24, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Sharon

    Will Palin go away once Obama becomes president?

    We can only hope !

    September 24, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Well....

    lets hope we all do our "reputable" research on each candidate to not fall for the okey doke McCain "tribe full of lies".

    I guess I must tell myself, when the right person comes along...it's never easy to get people to see past the lies and prejudice.

    God help us all....

    September 24, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. ME

    CNN – Cobama News Network
    ALL BIAS, ALL BULL

    What foreign policy experience does Obama have exactly??????
    The "Obama Middle East/European Vacation" doesn't count.

    September 24, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Jr

    cnn post this

    Break NEWS : McCain asks that FrIday debate be posponted to focus on financial crisis

    September 24, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. KATHLEEN

    To Belle,
    Well, they use the card against Obama! Why not go the other route?

    Obama Biden from a White Woman of 63 retired and like my hard
    earned S.S. check!.

    September 24, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Hilary B, California

    Wow. That was the most blunt statement I have heard so far from a politician. There may be some truth behind it. I don't know how Sarah Palin feels, personally, but anybody who says that racism doesn't exist is just plain naive. Racism, just like terrorism, will never go away. It's sad, but true.

    September 24, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    Really?!?!

    So anyone who is a hunter is therefore a racist bigot??

    Give me a break. I'm a hunter and I don't hate African Americans or Jews. This is ridiculous...

    I hope supporters of both candidates can at least agree to condemn such bigotry.

    September 24, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Phantom of the Oprah

    I'm a life-long democrat and I find this disgusting.

    Why are the democrats allowed to get away with such HATRED against fellow Americans this election.

    Makes me wonder if Obama lacks in merits so everyone has to play the race card and use sexism and antipathy against those who do NOT go along with Obama.

    Never have I seen more blatant attempts to shame and force people into voting for the least qualified candidate to ever run for POTUS.

    September 24, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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