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. Let talk about important things people!!!!

    I am sick and fed up people spending too much time on who said what and why.
    There are more important things to worry about right now.

    September 29, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Alabama

    These days the republicans are very sensible, you can hurt their feelings very easy. Poor kids!
    On the other hand their leadership and McCain LIES about Obama every day without any scruple.

    Today Republican congressmen put their feelings first before the interest of the country.

    September 29, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Jason Z.

    So many of you have the audacity to think that Obama is going to give you a free ride...Hold on tight and buckle up America..times they are a changin'.
    The Vote:
    Obama the Showboat Vs. MCCain the Maverick

    This one is going to end ugly..i think.

    September 29, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Bill Tampa

    Stay Focused...enough of this nonsense.!!!!!!!!!!..We have a country in a finacial crisis and all we are talking about is a Moose, Blacks and Jews being shot by Palin?....Arrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Fighting for Obama Since he is too political correct!

    OUCH!

    September 29, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Call it what it is.

    "John, I have a bracelet too."

    September 29, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. V. Sheldon

    What- just for saying what most Americans are really thinking about her? Just for exposing her radical right wing fanaticalism? Showing her for the crate of doorknobs she really is. No apologies necessary.

    September 29, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. TexasVet

    SO?! Can't you see the sky is falling? We have more important things to focus on.

    Obama/Biden 08!

    September 29, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Eli

    Sounds like REV WRIGHT to me.

    September 29, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. oh, c'mon

    You can question the wisdom of exactly what he said, but that the Republican Party does not have the interests of blacks and Jews at heart is a stone cold fact.

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Deborah Purington-Maulucci

    The fact that Palin who has no experience with foreign policy, has sided with big oil companies, and has used her position to fire her brother in law is very scary. Why on earth would anyone want her to be president? It is like Matt Damon said "It is like a Walt Disney movie gone mad!" I'm sorry that Hastings used the words he used, but I do agree with him no one should vote for McCain/Palin.

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Zac Umdenstock

    She was an irresposible choice ! Ask McCain how he feels about affirmative action now !

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Tucson, AZ

    A. DeHaven,

    Did you seeee the Katie Couric interview????? If the answer is yes...Your an idiot!

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. SONGBIRD MCCAIN

    Why won't anyone ask her about how dinosaurs and men both walked the earth 6,000 years ago?!?!?

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Vincent

    Rep. Hastings has been, is and always will be a MORON. Not only does he make stupid and hateful comments, he can't even make them grammatically correct! However, to those posters who are congratulating him or saying that it's no big deal- shame on you! I truly believe that CNN has a core of people who go on these blogs with different names because it's almost always anti Bush, anti McCain, anti Palin. This has been rumored before and it really does seem like a planned and concerted effort on the part of CNN blog sites, including the Cafferty File. Prove me wrong.

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Anita from Arizona

    And this story helps the economy how????? Watch now the republicans try to tie Obama to it. More distractions.....

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. jimmy

    SAME OLD EXCUSES FOR RACISM REMARKS.. SPEW THEM OUT
    LOUD AND CLEAR AND THEN WEEKS LATER APOLOGIZE SOFTLY WHEN THERE IS BAD NEWS ALL AOUND THE COUNTRY SO NOBODY WILL NOTICE .. THE BLACK CONGRESSMAN WAS TALLKING TRASH ABOUT GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN.

    September 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Goodman Fredrick

    This is old. Why do you recycle.

    September 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. nw70

    The true racists of America.... the Democrats!!!!!!!! ( you all remember Sen KKK Bryd )

    The republicans... Party of Lincoln!

    September 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. pam b

    not much of an apology . . . if a white person had said that about a black person it would have been on front page news.

    September 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. H. Charles

    No matter how much money this country loses or how hard times are, you all always find the time to come down on non-white people. Good job, CNN.

    September 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Liz F

    re: Palin remark – it's the truth as far as i can see it.
    everyone is apologizing in fear of losing votes.
    god, if we all could just speak the truth FIRST, these type of remarks would be like water off a ducks back.
    Palin leaves herself open to remarks by perpetrating (yeah, I used perpetrating intentionally) her suzie homemaker – moose killing babe persona via the media.
    i'm sick of it, frankly.

    September 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Timus

    Maybe not the best forum to say it but he's prob right. To have a VP straight out of the movie 'Deliverance" prob wouldn't be good for a lot of people.

    September 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. TJ Johnson

    The NAAWP should take action against the idiot racist Alcee right now!

    September 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. tony

    Typical Dem–Inserting foot in mouth-
    Barney Frank should go to the Bath House–
    He's a joke–He was overseeing this -
    Chris Dodd got the most money from Fannie & Freddie–
    Barack Obama got the 2nd most in 20% of the time–THen you idiots want to blame Bush–
    Remember–We had problems since 99' with Fannie & Freddie–!!You Dems held control of CONGRESS the last 2 Years ( Don't forget that !

    September 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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