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. Lauren in California

    I hope mccain is not stupid enough to blame this on Obama, and start in with his fake phony, outrage, and demand Obama apologize for someone else's comments.

    September 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Tony

    Judy (September 29th, 2008 3:20 pm ET): "Who wants a VP that carries gun and kill animals for sport."

    Me.

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Steve/ Houston,TX

    This is ignorance in its full glory. For any party, no one should make comments like this. This is an elected official speaking out loud. Although we have the right of freedom of speech, this was a dumb choice for all races, all parties and religions. I can say though, his views are not Obama's views!

    September 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Is this news

    Who cares? Focus on the bailout.

    September 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Mildred, SC

    Can we all just get along?

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Ready for Change

    IDIOT !!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Republicans Hate America

    Im voting for change

    September 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. faye, NV

    The Rep never will admit to any wrong but constantly stating reaching across the aisles.

    McCain could not reach across the aisle in the debate on Friday.

    September 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Sebastian

    That brother has always been an idiot. I have no problem calling it like i see it.

    That said, America won't get distracted from the real issues of the day.

    The deep hole that the all-regulation-is-bad GOP cheerleaders and a lack of financial transparency has put America in.

    September 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. NY loves Obama

    This has nothing to do with Obama.

    September 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Joe

    It's funny how this was never made a big deal of by the media. If that was said by someone in McCain's campaign the media and Obama would be insisting that McCain denounce it.

    September 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. susan

    who care...its the economy, stupid!

    September 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    Typical Black comment. They bring race into everything. Funny how they now say we should vote for Obama because he is half-white. What is wrong with all black? Should we white people worry if a half-black man wins? Granted he tends to do things halfway.

    September 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Daniel

    I'm glad he retracted those horrifically bigoted statements.

    September 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. KJL

    There are enough other reasons not to support Palin. Hastings was right to apologise, but also right to voice his lack of support.

    September 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. an independent from VA

    Like anything else in America, every side has stupid people. Black, white,yellow, or blue. Stupidity does not takes sides. Let this election be about the people of all races. It should not matter(even though it does) what freakin color anybody is. I could care less if one of them was polka dot and the other striped like a zebra. All I care about is who shares my views. THAT IS IT!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. J.R.

    i'm moving to CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Scott L

    Gee, an Obama supporter playing the race card?

    Imagine that...

    September 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. USA

    ---well, well, well........sarah palin is a shame lady, anyways...

    she lies , she kills animals, she is Clueless ...u must be dumb to want her as a vp .......

    September 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Kendra, CO

    It doesnt' matter what color the man is, he's still wrong. I'm black, and I didn't like it. Stick to the issues, and don't get caught up in mindless banter.

    Barack is running to be president of the US, not just black people. Let Barack speak for himself, he's doing a good job.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Joe Regis

    Palin will go down on her own accord.

    She does not measure up to some of the basic democratic principles.

    Obama/Biden 08/12.

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. maria

    Stupid thing to say but trivial given the context of the current crisis.

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Independent for McCain

    Who Cares? I do! Is this something that Democrats would just "let go" if the roles were reversed! I think not. It only took him a whole week to come out and claim his remarks were uncalled for, about freaking time.

    Vote McCain/Palin '08

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Republicans Hate America

    while you people make this news the GOP are laughing that they are not called out for the 700 points the stock market just plunged

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Concerned Voter

    That was a dumb unintelligent comment but this is a distraction from the real issues CNN!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12