September 24th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
2 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. Now I am gone from the Obama camp

    I am a life long democrat and this is way over the top for me.

    McCain/Palin just won my vote.

    I can no longer support my democratic party- they have become bitter and vitriolic and openly express their bigotry, sexism and antipathy towards any American that does NOT agree with them.

    Please tell me HRC was NOT okay with this.

    She is much too inclusive and gracious to support such hate.

    September 24, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Does Obama Palin Comparison?

    Racist!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Nannie Bouroughs

    I am NOT an Obama supporter and I certainly do NOT support the USA and its support of Israel. Just what all these religious attacks on Sarah have to do with this extraordinary candidate is totally beyond me!

    I am terrified that various RELIGIONS and ethnic groups or a combination thereof are destroying DEMOCRACY!

    Religion has no place in GOVERNMENT!

    Should the incredibly stupid and superstitious voters in America elect Obama, he is NOT going to do anything SPECIAL for BLACKS or for JEWS!

    The President is president of all Americans and no GROUP should or will get any SPECIAL FAVORS!

    September 24, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. bill

    Nice Real Nice and there's Hillary standing there listening with a smile. Thanks God she lost now if we could only get her out of New York

    September 24, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. wait a minute

    Rep. Alcee Hastings doesn't know the price of a pound of meat or grocery in general. Alaskans hunt for food, because shipped food is very expensive in this remote area of the country. I don't think ignorance is a blessing here.

    September 24, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Linda

    One word...DISGUSTING. It's one thing to say her policies are not in line with what Jews stand for...but to say what he did is just horrible. This is what people in middle america are sick of. When are we going to elect adults to serve us and stop electing these high-school children who like to play games and call people names. I hope Obama brings the change her promises...we surely need it.

    September 24, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. petena

    Racism? Just look at the African American representation at the Republican National Convention. The Republicans are for the RICH and only want the people of color if they are RICH. They can not identify themselves with regular people. Cindy McCain's dress at the convention $200,000 and Palin's business suit $1500. Plezzzzz

    September 24, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. anonymous

    Well Bob in Indianapolis – I, for one, have a doctorate degree and I personally think maybe you should do a little homework on your own instead of running your mouth. Lies being told about NOBAMA? Not all lies. Check further. He is a man of many, many lies.

    September 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. I smell the fear

    When will the vitriolic democrats stop with these unjustified and mean and cruel and UNTRUE attacks against McCain and Palin?

    Do they seriously believe this will rally support for Obama?

    For me- and I am a life-long democrat- it is having the opposite effect.

    From the start I have wanted a fair fight. Obama has not provided that. He cheated to oust HRC and now he lies and cheats to gain an advantage over the Republicans.

    I say, enough is enough. This is sordid and disgusting. African Americans better get a grip on their blind PRO- OBAMA no matter what, bias.

    September 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Ron from Baltimore

    Ms. Martina Stewart, who wrote this Ticker piece, needs to sharpen her pencil some. Even if the event in question was a jumble, and I'm not saying it was, this is very poorly written. Is Alcee being, what, Semitic, racist, sexist, engaging....?? I'm not sure what the reader was supposed to take away from this piece, or what these few folks who tired to understand it are responding to.

    September 24, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. This is a terrible way to try to win

    This beats Obama's own bitter and gun toting God clinging elitist remarks.

    This is so ugly that it makes me cringe. I am a life-long democrat and I am starting to question if a vote for Obama will end up bringing division and hate into the white house.

    This is SO wrong that I am speechless.

    September 24, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. surprised

    Im surprised that there are not more repubs on here talking about Obama using the race card. Anytime anyone says anything about African -Americans the righties come out in full force saying that Obama is playing the race card from the bottom of the deck. Somehow the gender card is ok to play, and has been played many times throughout the campain. Most recently, with the email that Palin sent out to her supporters, and Carly "golden parachute" Fiorina when she claimed the saturday night live sketch was sexist. (even though it featured one smart woman, and one less intelligent one) I think there is a definite double standard.

    September 24, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. JBP

    DUMMY – that is such a stupid thing to say. I'm an Obama supporter – but I don't support such idiotic ideas or language.

    September 24, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. JD in NC

    Frankly, anyone with an End of Days mindset is scary to me. Worse, she has been raised from anonymity to potential world leader in a few years. That tends to make people beleive that God has a special plan for them. Not healthy.

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

    Right on!

    September 24, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Larry-Minn.

    what a bunch of moose crap...cant believe there are people out there that have that kind of intelligence. Put up a big sign in back of room...Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear.

    September 24, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Ren

    Wait, what do guns and moose have to do with jews?

    I'm voting Obama/Biden, but I don't get this one...

    September 24, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Greg in Louisville

    What does someone's "toting guns and stripping moose" have to do with Jews and blacks? There is no evidence indicate a Palin prejudice against these groups. How do some of you folks get animated about this? It defies logic.

    September 24, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    Oh my god– African Americans are losing sight of everything but : the half black man MUST win... or else.

    This is starting to scare me- a liberal, marching, protesting life-long democrat.

    Sorry, this really sucks. Fear mongering lies at their very worst.

    Democrats are nailing their own coffin.

    Obama is not qualified- forcing people to vote for him is not going to work.

    September 24, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. kathy

    WoooHoooo...go Hastings!...tell it like it is!

    September 24, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. TIRED OF THE GOP

    speak on it...

    September 24, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. John in Virginia

    Well I am black and I am not very fond of her. I am not going to take her hobby and say she is a certain way because of it, even if it is likely. I have met some of the most unlikely people and Obama supporters this election cycle, it throws me every time. What we should be worried about is this "bailout." People call your Congressmen and make your views known. This plan, as it stands, is a waste of money. If ordinary people who can not afford these mortgages are left on the hook for these inflated amounts they can not aford, we will be asking the same questions in a month. Really, the money should be given on behalf of them with the condition that the lenders excuse some of that debt for people who were likely victims of this lending process. We can bail out corporations if we want to, but the fact is, the economy works from the bottom up. It is our money, and it should go to help us; not some greedy idiots who caused this mess and will be rich regardless.

    September 24, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. pam Eugene OR

    Well said sir!
    It is time to get over it and dangerous if you don't. Sarah plain is such an insult to thinking Americans. These are serious times and require serious leaders. Palin "I can see Russia from my house" is a complete joke.

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

    Palin is nothing but a skirt for McCain to hide behind.
    He thinks that by choosing Palin he will get women voters – well, women are not stupid and we want someone QUALIFIED! And Palin is not qualified!
    Obama and Biden get my vote.

    September 24, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. brownie

    The best and most important part of the speech was when he said ' Hillary lost, get over it ' ...

    Obama '08!

    September 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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