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. Brent

    Sounds very RACIST to me....Why is it that blacks rarely seem to be called on for their own racist remarks??

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Owning (and in Florida even legally carrying a gun) a gun and toting it while hunting, and dressing your kill (moose, deer, bear, etc) is a long shot from being a danger to humans and especially Jewish citizens living in Florida.

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Palin is plain dumb

    One more example of how dumb people can get in power.

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Fla.Dem

    Bravo, Congressman. Glad somebody said it. While it apparently did not go over well with some people, the treatment of Black and Jews has always been tense. No reason to think a McPalin administration would improve those relationships. GObama-Biden '08

    September 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. jeff

    This African American is in the tank for Obama only due to his race.

    September 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. One more for McCain/Palin

    Way to go Tony. Me too. This hatred of Sarah is hard to understand.
    Some Dems' are just Dims. McCain/Palin no apology needed, we
    understand where you are coming from, you can't help it.

    September 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Illini

    Well it took him long enough!!! Geez! Still - no comment from Obama denouncing the statement!

    I guess Michelle Obama was right - America is a downright mean country.

    September 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Straight From the Horses Mouth

    OK, at least he appologized.

    However has Palin apologized to community organizers?

    Has McCain retracted any of the 100 LIES he told last week?

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

    I don't think Governor Palin cares what a discredited, impeached former federal judge thinks of her.

    September 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Leah,Texas

    Now is the time for PALIN to apologize for her lies and for accepting to be on the McCain ticket when she knows that she is not qualified to run this country!

    Time for Palin to go back to Alaska and face her people that are up in arms for her stunts she has done in Alaska!

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

    Charlotte, you are a racist. i'm sad for you.

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. Leena

    Seriously CNN-this is the story you pick to run with the bailout going on today?? He's an idiot, he apologized. Now can we get back to something that's actually affecting my daily life?!?

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Uncle Sam

    I do not expect my candidate to necessarily share my views.
    I simply want him or her to make us proud.

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Tony

    Joe (September 29th, 2008 3:25 pm ET): "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."

    If we could arrange these comments by their value of truth, this one would be at the top.

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. JOE BLOGGS

    Stupid comment. There is no excuse. it won't change my mind one iota. I could never vote for Palin/mCCain, but that doesn't mean that we can't call out Dems for their stupid comments – even if they pale in comparison to the lies from the right!

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Virginia Voter

    Good apology. Now, on with the debate!

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. vote

    we will win and take all theses guns away and ban hunting.

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. maynard hopkins wi

    JUST GIVE GOV. PALIN A CHANCE TO PROVE HERSELF.... WE DONT NEED ALL THE SLANDER THAT IS GOING ON AT THIS TIME..

    SHE WILL MAKE A GREAT VICE PRESIDENT.... SHE IS MORE QUALIFIED THAT OBAMA OR BIDEN..... WAIT AND SEE FOLKS.

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Reagan

    The sexist pig is a convicted felon..Who cares what he thinks.

    September 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Denise....Boardman, Ohio

    I am an American, who is a African American woman...this statement was WRONG....Even though I do not agree with Mrs. Palin's politics, I respect her ability as a woman trying to survive in a predominately male world...what he said was wrong by any one's standard...I do not believe that Mrs. Palin, or any Republican, has any Black person's best interest at heart, but neither do I believe that the Democratic Party does either...they are all just the same...going by different names....Criticize Palin for her politics by all means, but at least have some respect for her as a woman...

    September 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Becky

    Good that he retracted his comments.

    We need to remain our focus on all the other legitimate reasons for why we don't like Sarah Palin as a candidate.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Michelle, St. Louis, MO

    I'm sorry this is hypocrasy!......Republicans do this all the time but yet, when someone else does it, they say it's divisive and "stooping" low. What he said is the truth.

    September 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Dem voting McCain

    That is so racist! Shame on you Obama supporters who feel racism has any place in this election. There are black and Jewish hunters too, you know.

    September 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Abby

    the mayor from SC said much worse about Obama. He should say sorry as well!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Obama all the way....

    Truth hurts!

    September 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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