September 29th, 2008
03:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Black Florida congressman apologizes for Palin comments

Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida is apologizing for recent comments about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida is apologizing for recent comments about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

(CNN) – An African-American congressman from Florida is apologizing for his comment that black and Jewish voters should not support Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin because "anybody toting guns and stripping moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks."

"I regret the comments I made last Tuesday that were not smart and certainly not relevant to hunters or sportsmen," Rep. Alcee Hastings said in a statement issued Monday.

Last week, at a panel on the shared agenda of Jewish and African-American Democrats during the annual conference of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Hastings told attendees what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the importance of supporting Sen. Obama in November's presidential election. "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," Hastings said last week. "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," he added

The comments elicited a swift response from the Republican Jewish Coalition. In a statement issued last week, Matt Brooks, the group's Executive Director, said Hastings "stooped to the worst kind of divisive politics."

"There should be no place in our country for this sort of political discourse. We can constructively disagree on the issues without denigrating others," added Brooks.

In his statement Monday, Hastings said he still backed the sentiment behind his initial remarks. "The point I made, and will continue to make, is that the policies and priorities of a McCain-Palin administration would be anathema to most African Americans and Jews," he said in his statement. "I regret that I was not clearer and apologize to Governor Palin, my host where I was speaking, and those who my comments may have offended."

Last Friday, the NJDC announced the launch of a new campaign of pro-Obama ads that will appear in Jewish newspapers across the country. The first ad in the campaign is timed to coincide with the Rosh Hashanah issues of the publications, and focuses on Obama's support for Israel. "Barack Obama is committed to a safe and secure Israel" and "believes that Israel must be preserved as a Jewish state," the ad reads.

The Republican Jewish Coalition has already launched its own series of election-related ads in Jewish newspapers throughout the country. The latest ad refers to some Obama's advisers as "pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, and even hostile to America" and states that "You can know a man by the company he keeps."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. BREAK TA LK

    O B A M A ,,,,,,,,,,,,S E N D S ,,,,,,,,,," J O B,,,,,,,,,,,,W E L L,,,,,,,,,,D O N E,,,,,,"

    W I T H,,,,,,,,,, H I S,,,,,,,," P R E S E N T",,,,,,,,,,,,V O T E,,,,,,,,,,,O N ,,,,,,,,,T H E

    I S SU E

    September 29, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Pam

    It's a free country!! Sticks and stones!!

    September 29, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Judy

    Who wants a VP that carries gun and kill animals for sport.

    September 29, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Hispanic Female Republican

    Those comments were reckless and have no place in this race.

    McCain/Palin '08!!

    September 29, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. JD in NC

    This is so irrelevant right now. China has been having astronauts float over us while our country is unraveling.

    September 29, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. NORA, FLORIDA

    Being an African American female, when I heard the comment I thought he was going mad. It was very inappropriate and uncalled for. I just hope that when the same kinds of comments are made by the Republicans against Obama that they admit their wrong doing.

    September 29, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Republicans= Me First Country Last

    let's now hear from the Republicans who will somehow blame Obama for this one......

    in

    three

    two

    one

    September 29, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Brock Landers

    Oh man, how unfortunate. still i cant help but think there is a kernel of truth within a small segment of the population

    September 29, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Cyrus K.

    Rep. Alcee Hastings...do us a favor. Please shut up!

    September 29, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Dutch-VA

    I don't know why he's apologizing. He's just calling it like he see's it.

    September 29, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Bill O'Reilly

    Well... what's wrong with what he said?

    September 29, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. California Gold

    In a matter of weeks after a dazzling introduction to the US and the World, Palin has certainly offended millions. I can understand the feelings behind the Representative's comments. Palin offends so many on so many levels. After her Friday interview with Katie Couric and "I'll get back to ya" response, Palin has proven to be utterly unqualified and offensive.

    September 29, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Kelby from Houston, TX

    LOL, I was wondering when I would hear an apology for that comment.
    It's not about race or what you think your social status is. This is about The rich and the poor; the intellegent and the ignorant.

    VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS

    September 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Tony

    Hey, I can say stupid bigoted things like that! Can I become a Democratic congressman and exploit my constituents?

    September 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Cyrus K.

    Ah the Republicans!!

    I am pro-Israel...and I am pro-Palestinian. They are not mutually exclusive...you morons!

    September 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Brent

    This is a pretty weak story. Let's get back to talking about something that really matters, like the economy.

    September 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. We love Sarah

    What took him so long. No matter what, Palin is an American. Although she has aligned herself with an idiot name McCain, I still believe that she has the real American interests in mind (unlike me first McCain).

    September 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. NO-NO-NO

    W H E RE , S,,,,,,,,, TH E ,,,,,,,,N A A C P,,,,,,,,,,,,,O B A M A,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    A L,,,,,,,,,,S H A R P T O N,,,,,,,,,,J E S S I E,,,,,,,,,,J A C K SO N,,,,,,,,,,,,

    O N,,,,,,,,,T H I S,,,,,,,,,I S S U E ? ? ?

    September 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Thank-You

    I'm African American and i thought his comments were ridiculous as well!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Theory

    The country is in too bad of shape to make this story relevant to anything.

    September 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    More mindless distractions from the real issue:

    IT'S STILL THE ECONOMY, STUPID, AND McCAIN (BY HIS OWN ADMISSION) DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE

    September 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Abby

    Yeah this is unimportant while the sky is falling. Thanks CNN but lets get back to the economy and john McCain ruining any spirit of cooperation by parachuting into Washington at the exact wring time.

    September 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Brian

    It is true that Palin has nothing in common with Floridians, but this was a stupid comment and the congressman will get the appropriate tongue lashing because of it.

    But it doesn't change the fact that McCain's campaign suspension to help solve the economic crisis did NOTHING but create a political buzz around his campaign, and it doesn't change the fact that Palin knows NOTHING about the economy.

    Diversions aside, Obama is the only person who, as president, will be able to do anything about this economic crisis. Put it in his hands and lets see what he can do!

    September 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Get Real

    I am an African American – You sir are a disgrace! Your comments sounded so stupid and ignorant. You should be voted out and replaced with anyone, even the Republican that ran against you.

    This is why our country can not move forward faster with the race issue.
    Ignorant people (Both whites and blacks) always say ignorant crap that the rest of have to somehow in our daily lives show is not the views of the rest of us.

    For examples: Whites should not be called rasicts because they do not vote for Barack, just like Blacks should not be called rasicts becasue they are voting for him.

    American wake up, I say we take all the Blacks and Whites that say stupid crap like this and move them to Alaska to border patrol for the Govenor.

    September 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Laura, OK

    I'm African American, and I think he should have apologized a long time ago. We are all Americans and there is no need for such talk. It doesn't serve anyone.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12