September 24th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
4 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. Don, SF

    When Obama gets behind, he throws out the race card. He disgusts me now.

    September 24, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Scott in Atlanta

    I'm as big an Obama supporter as they come, but I'm not making the connection on this one. I'm still voting for Obama though...

    September 24, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Karen

    McCain or Palin has yet to address anyone non-white. They made a play for the Latino's which is fine, but there are additional demographics out there that does vote. Everytime they open their mouth I feel insulted and discriminated against. How could this be good for the federal governement that is for every citizen. She is a racist and not ashame of it. That is very shameful for America.

    September 24, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Jon

    I don't care about race, sex, religion, etc., and I'm sick of hearing about it. Instead, the Palin selection is a rallying cry to anyone with a brain and a conscience to vote for Obama.

    September 24, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Eric

    And they always said this race had nothing to do with race.....Yeah Right. Geraldine Ferraro had it right.

    September 24, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Vonniewit

    I am pro-Obama but must distance myself from the Hastings comment. Don't be surprised if the Obama camp releases a statement. Truthfully, what Hastings said is true. It's just how he said it. One can agrue that Palin's nature is cruel. And the people, places, and things that she has not shown regard for should not expect differently under a McCain-Palin adminstration.

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Proud Obama/Biden Supporter

    McCain and Palin are so far out of touch with minorities in this country and that is a shame. I want to ask Gov. Palin myself, "What type of inner city problems do you face in Alaska?" Oh I forgot there aren't any! She couldn't even hande being Gov of a state with a large city so how is she going to be able to be one heart beat away (literally) from running a country with my husband well being at stake who happens to be deployed right now for who knows how long! Wake up America, other countries are laughing at us!

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Michigan Democratic voting for MCCAin

    How stupid can you get saying something like that ! That is why I
    am voting for Mccain Hussien Obama well say anything to get the people on his side look at Rev Wright he sat their for 20 years.
    I was a Hillary supporter and I am going to laugh when Obama
    loses. Look at Obama experience 173 days in senate when it
    came to vote Hussien Obama voted present! With America in
    a crisies we do not need some one to vote present!

    MCCAIN / PALIN 08

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Joyce, nj

    I just saw news flash – McCain ask for the debate to be postponed. With the most hypocritical reason. If he care so much about the economy, what was he doing when Bush it all were destroying it?

    Really, the tricks are so repugnant. Face the nation John, let us know where you stand, are you not ready? Nothing much can be done on Friday, the entire nation is waiting for this debate. If you're not ready now, you never will.

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Nancy

    You people are all crazy.....I don't understand why there is such "HATE" in the Obama supporters.. Including other policitians. That is a terrilbe remark and he should be ashamed of himself....

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Illini

    Rep. Hastings' statements are UNCONSCIONABLE!!! I cannot believe that this election has come to this! This statement is just reprehensible and if Obama knows what's good for him, he will denounce them!

    What I really can't believe thought, are the statements on this Blog, in support of Hastings' statements! You people are just sick!

    Well said "Belle."

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. ines

    I don't quite get Hastings comparison, but I got the image of the demographics of the GOP convention and McCain/Palin rallies loud and clear.

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. NOSS

    THERE IS ONE OF "THEM'"."THEY," "THOSE" PEOPLE-
    TRYING TO SCARE YOU INTO VOTING FOR BARACK HUSSEIN OABAMA –
    ALCEE HASTINGS IS A SEPARTIST BIGOT PLAYING THE RACE CARD

    THIS IS YOUR DEM PARTY LEADERSHIP?
    LMAO at the utter ignorance these politicians are feeding you.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Don

    The news has just reported that John McCain wants to cancel the debate and focus on the Economy, there is nothing that he can do in the next day or two. That is like placing 700 Billion dollars in GW and Dick Cheneys hands and telling them to split it among their friends.

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Katie

    Finally someone has said this well.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Oh Boy!!!???

    Belle?

    What planet are you from? They must all be right, white, and full of fright.

    Hopefully soon they'll all be Outtasite!!!

    DYNOMITE!!!!

    You got that right.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Kpawlak

    Bob Indianapolis IN September 24th, 2008 2:38 pm ET
    Oy! How about doing a little homework? Anyone who still believes the neo-con lies about Obama probably didn't score very well on their S.A.T.s….

    This must be another elitist liberal.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Matt

    Look at the demographic breakdowns for Wasilla and Alaska at factfinder.census.gov. Doesn't look to me like she has much experience dealing with the problems facing non-white minorities in this country.

    Wasilla (2000 data, around when she was mayor) – Whites 4,674, Non-White 671 (32 Black, 201 Hispanic), Mixed 325

    Alaska (2006 data, sowrn in as Gov. in Dec. '06) – Whites 460,170, Non-White 192,872 (21,476 Black, 37,498 Hispanic), Mixed 54,509

    September 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Alcee Hastings....

    So now we're pitting the blacks and Jewish citizens against conservative values?

    What a desperate attempt to channel the Jewish vote in Florida.

    Mr. Hastings here are some facts for you:
    Israel is our allie against radical Islam. Unlike the safe folks in SE Florida–the people who live in Israel probably take a less liberal view on national defense strategy–and willingness to use military force to pursue national interests for us and our allies.

    In addition. Governor Palin is being portrayed as an ignorant war-Hawk, when nothing in McCain's agenda has alluded to further expansion of U.S. forces in the middle east (with the exception of Afghanistan) and she supports McCain's agenda.

    I've always heard it was the GOP doing the "fear mongering" Mr. Hastings?
    No wonder 9 of 10 elected officials in Florida are Republican with knuckleheads like Mr. Hastings portraying the Democrats in such a bad light. Floridians aren't so stupid Alcee–despite your beliefs we can all read and write and have access to volumes of information in order to make our own decisions.

    Thanks for the advice though Mr. Hastings. Shalom.

    September 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. BOBBY K. FROM BIRMINGHAM, AL.

    I agree!!!!!
    I also saw earlier that Mccain wants to postpone the debates while he works on the economy??? He also asks for OBAMA to do so also. I do agree with McCain's proposal but at the same time the majority of the country wants to see what both men will do for National Security and PRIMARLY THE ECONOMY. BY HAVING THESE DEBATES, WE CAN ALL SEE WHAT MCCAIN REALLY PLANS(OR NOT) DO!!!!!!!!!

    BRING ON THE DEBATES!!!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Scott of Utah

    I am white and my entire family is right. I am terrified of what Palin / McCain would do with this Country.

    September 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. ELLIE

    I can't believe the drivvle I have just finished reading. Just go back and read what you all have written. It's hateful, misinformed, racial, and just plain stupid. I thought democrats were supposed to be for the poor and minorities. All I see and hear is hatred!

    Oh, yes, victor nj, I am really going to rely on salon.com for my news source. You all had better wake up and soon. If you don't we'll soon be a socialist country.

    September 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. rachel

    People should stop saying get over it, that doesnt help your cause. Anyways look for Mrs clinton in Michigan this sat. stumping for Obama.

    September 24, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Lynn, FL

    This is disgusting, racist, fear mongering and Hastings should be ashamed of himself for stooping so low. His comments should be condemned by the Obama campaign. Just because Sarah Palin hunts moose it means she will kill blacks and Jew? That is one of the most absurd and idiotic things to come out of anyone's mouth in this whole campaign season.

    The democrats across the board are trying to scare people in to voting for them on a number of issues, social security, abortion, health care, and now this. It is pathetic and so are the people who believe and cheer this nonsense.

    September 24, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. bakersfield

    wow – dems are out there

    September 24, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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