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. Joe

    That's really going to help Obama in OH and PA (sarcasm). What a stupid and arrogant comment.

    September 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. TT

    First, "America for Obama" – Found your post interesting. So you were okay with Rev Wright comments and that Obama was a member of his church, or were those taken out of context. If you use the Obama measure, since she was not there for the comments, then it is not a story.

    Second, this is blatant playing of the race card. The McCain campaign has said nothing about race throughout the campaign, but every chance they get, Obama's camp centers the discussion around race.

    It is time for the media to go back to reporting news instead of providing its editiorial position. It is sad that people of both sides of the fence are being forced to react to smear instead of issues.

    September 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Becky, Midwest

    Nice Try. HIllary, Stop helping the fool Obama. He can win it or lose it on his own, and his mean, nasty, hateful fan club.

    September 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. JD

    OK- If a white person said this- everyone would totally flip out! This is a ridiculous comment. Just because you hunt, does not mean that you de-value human life. If you can't tell the difference from human life and animal life- them maybe the problem is with you and not with gun owners.

    September 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. abel sterling

    yeahh let them know what the true is, cause it seem's like they dont know it.

    September 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. George

    I hope his comments do not relate to Obama. Maybe he is still rooting for Hillary

    September 24, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. God don't like Ugly

    Is this the only way that Obama knows how to win?

    By playing ugly and dirty divisive games?

    Is this the way Obama plans to unify Americans and cross the aisle?

    This is deplorable.

    The African Americans are staging a coup for Obama- they are demanding that Obama be president. They are not even pretending to believe in the democratic process. This was evident with the cut-throat tactics and threats used to steal the nomination from HRC and it continues into the GE against the Republicans.

    September 24, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. average joe

    half the problem with obama is that most whites think he's dealing in code language for blacks first and foremost before the American People. and thats a truth not racist its that hiden perception.

    September 24, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Marie

    That is ridiculous! I don't personally support Palin, but saying that because she is "totin guns and strippin' mooses" that she doesn't care what happens to black and Jews is completely NONSENSICAL! Another ludicrious statement by the Democrats. I am completely in the middle and hearing something like that makes me want a Republican in the office.

    September 24, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Yousuf

    I am not surprise by the way Republicans are running their campaign....

    But its just amazing what someone will do to be a president! John McSame say he just wants to become a president because thats his "AMBITION"... so do we really want to vote for someone who just wants to get to the white house for HELL OF IT?

    Sarah Palin is just another horror show...not only for the JEWS but for All americans and everyone that will deal with her...SHE IS A NUTCASE.... ONLY few RED NECK WILL VOTE FOR HER..

    America wake up....and vote for Democrats!!!! Economy was great during Clinton years, 5 million job was created, world loved us...OBAMA has clintons economic advisors in his team...GO Obama/Biden

    September 24, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. NoBama08!

    1st of all, blacks LOVE guns, they're always shooting each other with them.

    2nd of all, Hastings is a crook!

    3rd, why do Americans think we went to war for? AIPAC lobbyists pushed for it long before the war started. NoBama is the one who talked about sitting down with Syria and Iran, not Bush, so who supports Israel more? (and that's all Jews care about)

    People, please watch SOMETHING other than the BET , MTV cribs, and Pimp My Ride, and maybe READ once in a while...

    September 24, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Cynthia

    I have to agree too much is at stake. This country is in a huge mess and no matter how you look at President Bush, a Republican, put us in it. I seriously don't know if the country can survive another Republican in office and especially Senator McCain at this time.

    September 24, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Amerika the beautiful for Obama

    Anyone who can defend, excuse or justify this man's comments is no longer a believer in freedom and justice for all. No longer a believer in fair campaigns and in the democratic process.

    Obama wants to win at any cost. What he lacks in merits he makes up for in vitriolic insults and derision designed to intimidate and humiliate those who don't support him into giving him their vote.

    This is an effort to force people to vote for Obama- whether you agree with Obama politically or not- whether he is qualified to lead or not.

    This is fascism.

    September 24, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. norman paul

    being jewish is a religion not a race and the fact that a candidate is of a different faith is and should be irrelevant.Who knows maybe one day the USA will elect a muslim president.The concern of America should be to elect someone smart,well educated and a leader who believes that the road to peace is not war.You would think that after 8 years of Bush they would know better.Just close your eyes and imagine Palin as president..Not a good idea because America needs the brightest and best to lead..I would not hire her to run my company but I would hire Obama and his wife..remember the brightes and best..forget all that religous stuff and skin color..it just does not matter.
    I am a Canadian Jew

    September 24, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    What a racist comment. This looser has no place being in Congress. It's because of racist crap like this and Rev. Wright's tirades that Obama will lose. Enough with the victim mentality. You want equality, stay in school and get educated.

    September 24, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Oregon calling

    Houston, I think we have a problem!

    Ok, so, oversights are going in, exec.’s compensation is being deliberated on, mortgage pieces are being put into play, but no one has addresses what about those people that were too poor to even get a home and that have been laid off one or more times in the last few years? They just get to help pay the bill but not get any benefits?!?! This too needs to be addressed. I am just a little fish in a big pond so no one will notice :-(

    Obama / Biden 08

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

    Pretty weird statement from a Congressman....

    September 24, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Did he really say this

    I hear you.

    Obama and only Obama.

    No one is allowed to vote for any other candidate.

    It started in the primaries with a war against Hillary and it continues now with these intimidations and false allegations.

    September 24, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. NoBama08!

    Great comment Karen!!!! You know, they 'can't handle the truth'! That's why they protest so...

    September 24, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. TKCROW

    Rep Hastings is an idiot. What an outrageous, biased and close minded statement.

    September 24, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. peakarack

    SHAME ON YOU AND BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA .

    September 24, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Nancy

    ignorant people

    September 24, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Tiffany J.

    What a bizarre comment to have made... Not sure I get it entirely, but I do agree that Palin is not the right woman for this job. As a woman, I felt insulted when McCain chose a random woman the country did not know to run as VP. I can see through the lies. You, McCain, have insulted women everywhere. We women were not just backing Mrs. Clinton because she has a uterus – and we will not throw our vote to McCain's aid just because he found a uterus to put on the ticket.

    We are smart, women! We will vote for the *right* woman when the *right* woman comes along and unfortunately will will have to wait because Palin is not that woman.

    I will vote Obama.

    September 24, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Bill Charlotte,NC

    As the evangelicals would say, AMEN!

    September 24, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Jenn

    talk about racism

    September 24, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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