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. Michael

    Judy, why don't you and your milquetoast vegertarianism pacifism take a hike. We've heard it all before.

    September 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. LB-NJ REPUBLICANS FOR MCCAIN

    Hastings you were and Idiot when I was your neighbor in Fla, and I see you are still one. How did you get this far with your career? You have set Civil Liberty in our country back years!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Basic Science

    I don't get it.

    September 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Jerry Ohio

    I wondering why CNN didnt post my note I only said Palin is wrong for killing moose because animal have rights alos and Palin should be put in jail for killing God animal.....Palin is awful

    September 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Kevin

    I'm voting early this weekend for Obama! I don't care what somebody I never heard of said.

    September 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. suefromtn

    stupid comment...stupid story...now back to the 'REAL' issues please

    September 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Marilyn

    Guess as long as the mccain camp is saying what they want to it is okay. Americans, we really have more to worry about than this. Maybe cnn should find the article where palin called hillary a B and Obama a B. Then that would be something to report. Or better yet why not report on the newspaper that endorsed Obama after not endorsing a Dem. Candidate for 76 years.

    September 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. joe snuffy

    Who really cares about this? We can ply these "he said she said" games all day, but we have bigger problems than this today-

    Way to go, CNN.

    Oh, and I'm STLL voting for Obama :)

    September 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. McCain THE LIAR

    Is Palin apologizing for her comments about Biden's age?

    September 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. I Invented the McMuffin... and fire

    When there are SO many angles to attack the McFailin ticket, why resort to such idiocy? Think BEFORE speaking next time and until then try on this dunce hat...

    September 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Let's move on.....please!

    He apologized. Let's get back to the issues that matters. I'm more concerned about the economy.....that's weighing very heavily on my mind. I need to know if I will be able to pay my bills!

    September 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. chris reilly...

    mary kate and ashley for president and vp......think about it...if 2 little troll dolls from abc's full house can rise to be the billionaires they are today, id say they have more on the ball then anyone running....and we can have hannah montana as secretary of state and the cast of high school reunion can fill out the cabinet....why not let teenagers run the country...the people running it now are sure acting like teenagers...

    September 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. MB

    "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.

    Are you kidding me? Even his "apology" is ignorant....not releveant to hunters or sportsmen" or African-American or Jews, or Women or Candidates of any race, religion, sex. How does someone like that get elected?????

    September 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Donna

    @Charlotte....you are further proof that ignorance and Free Speech are a deadly combination.....

    Rep. Hastings was speaking for HIMSELF and not the AA race...

    Obama should NOT apologize for this...he isn't responsible for any grown person nor their comments....

    Don't be shocked that ignorant comments come from all races because they do...and will forever do so!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Chest

    cnn, with all that going on with the bigger problems we are facing, are all the story on Sarah Palin and her every step nessary. Can you help inform you view and stop with so much of just gossip. YOu need to do a fact check on yourself CNN. After Nov. what are all of you going to do, there maybe some layoff at CNN because you don't seem to be able to come up wih real news lately.

    September 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. JONNA

    Que sera sera. You can always tell people who aren't use to being around any other race than their own.

    September 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Sammy

    It want a nice thing to say... whether or not its true.

    Also re: Joe. There is a world of difference between whether or not a comment like this is said by an actual campaign member or a surrogate. Both are bad. But when it comes directly from a campaign it can be taken as a candidate's official position.

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Doug R.

    Has John McCain ever apologized for the comments he made about Chelsea Clinton??

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Jason

    Affirmative Blacktion at its finest

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. TexicoFrom Mexico

    Why she is a Witch Hunter....we have it on film..cant hide that! And Dem voting McCain what about Obama being slammed over Reverened Wright? huh? Kinda one sided dont you think? Palin is WHITE TRASH and deserves everything she gets! Hey why are her kids not in school?

    And all you PUMA'S are idiots too...just wait till Hillary tries to run again, you will get 0 % of the Black vote which is almost half the party!

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Majorman

    Hey, CNN, why do you title this story "Black Florida congressman..."??? Is it necessary to identify Rep. Hastings as "black." I never see you start any stories with "White Congressman questions Obama's..." CNN you are guilty of Race-baiting.

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Katie

    I just find it so extremely ironic, not to mention hypocritical when all you Obama supporters say what an awful person Sarah Palin is because she "kills animals."

    Obama is Pro-Choice - So, I guess it's perfectly fine to kill little babies.

    If I were you, I wouldn't dare compare the two.

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Steve

    Oops! There's an on-going sub-current of racism and sexism in this race. It's the 800 lb gorilla in the room. Most of us have the the good manners not to say stupid things like this, but, unfortunately, many of us may be THINKING these things, which will be a key consideration when the voting booth curtains close, and we are alone with our thoughts and prejudices.

    I would hope that Obama's campaign would come out and say this person is not speaking for Obama. I am an Obama supporter, but this kind of rhetoric has no place in the campaign. No matter WHO it comes from, it is nasty, and it should be denounced.

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. randy

    Wow another democratic racist! All white people should take off work and march. I get so sick of hearing this reverse racism, it will cost dems the election.

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Shawn - GA

    Sickening

    September 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12