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. rodlang

    Can you imagine if a white republican had said something similar regarding Obama.....the MSM would have called for his immediate resignation, not a weak apology. Blatant double standard.

    September 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Republicans= Me First Country Last

    Charlotte,

    I'm so glad that you have finally proved beyond a doubt that you are a racist.

    "What is wrong with all blacks?"

    The question you should be asking is what is so wrong with you?????

    I read the blogs every evening and you are always here spewing non-sense. Maybe instead of worrying about what black people are doing you should get yourself a job since you have so much time to spew your hate.

    TYPICAL WHITE WOMAN FROM NC
    (I hope to God that's your name and you are not representing the great city)

    September 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. joy

    this time in my life at 65 year old white lady
    i always been republican
    since palin come on board my vote is democrat all the way. noted\
    i will never vote for mccain either/ she totally finished making my mind up

    September 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. WE NEED THE TRUTH

    Very Stupid by this INDIVIDUAL.....Smart people will understand that Obama was not the one who said the comments nor does he believe in the comments.

    OBAMA 08

    September 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Former PUMA

    But it's ok for preachers to use the pulpit to tell people to vote for McCain??????? I am not agreeing with the comments, however, I think quite a few preachers owe Obama an apology.

    September 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Michelle

    This is America and last time I checked Bush had not changed, the right to free speech. You have apologized and you are forgiven.

    I talk about Palin and McCain all the time, I just try to be careful in a Red State like Georgia.

    September 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Richard

    It was a stupid thing for Hastings to say originally. He isn't known for his smarts. Sarah Palin certainly doesn't need any help to make her look bad. McCain's lack of judgment couldn't be more obvious than when Palin wasn't even allowed to talk to CNN, NBC, etc. for comments after the debate. Instead the Republicans marched out people they thought were more competent. So much for McCain's "country first". Barack Obama's VP candidate is actually allowed to go out on his own and actually answer questions.

    Sarah Palin apparently isn't capable of dealing with any country she can't see from her window.

    September 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Kristina, Seattle

    Eh, he should stand by the sentiment. It's true.

    September 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Brent

    This is getting lame. How does this affect any of us? Just another distraction from the real issues. Let's talk about the ECONOMY.

    September 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. drew

    dont taunt her she might shoot you like cheney

    September 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Kristina, Seattle

    Eh, he should stand by the sentiment. It's not like it isn't true.

    September 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. chris b

    At least he's apologizing. Gotta give him credit for something....

    September 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. simp

    THIS IS SO UNIMPORTANT. CNN YOU ARE A JOKE, LETS REPORT THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO US TAX PAYERS LIKE THIS BAILOUT SITUATION. NOBODY CARES ABOUT PALIN, SHE IS SUCH A JOKE ANYWAY.

    OBAMA/BIDEN

    September 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. James

    Seeing as there are about 12 Jews and 6 African Americans living in Alaska, the congressman has a point.

    The entire population of Alaska is less than 800,000 people. That's less people than live in a single square mile of New York.

    Governor Palin may not be racist or anti-semitic (in fact most bible thumping Christian Evangelicals have serious Hebrew envy), but she sure doesn't know much about governing large blocks of racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse people.

    She can however tell the difference between a Moose and a Caribou at 400 yards.

    I will sleep better at night knowing she can.

    September 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Shan

    Sarah... some of us adore you. Don't pay too much attention to the few hundred who post on here. 8) Well, except for me, of course!

    September 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. ME

    doofus.....

    BTW, Nancy Pelosi should be impeached (if that's possible)

    September 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Kim

    Yeah, it was tacky and uncalled for-–the last part of it, anyway. Gun toting and moose stripping, however, is true!!! And for the record, distrust and dislike for Caribou Barbie has nothing to do with her gender. It all stems from the fact 1. she is completely unqualified; 2. the vetting process was questionable; 3., if she had any sense she would have politely refused due to her lack of experience 4., the McSame people demand she be treated with respect and deference but then keep her cloistered away from the media. I cannot wait to the debate Thurs. when she brings up all these recent photo-ops with world leaders as foreign policy experience. GO O, and JOE 08

    September 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    He should apologize for his comment, however, everybody knows that clueless airhead Palin is the political punchline of this election and in the history of U.S. politics.

    But I hope she stays on the "Maverick" McBush's ticket. As long as she stays on the GOP ticket, Obama is guaranteed a victory! Which is great! Like McDonald's, I'm Lovin' It!

    September 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Jan

    we're all racists. some just hide it better than others. just because you don't put certain words on your actions, doesn't mean that they aren't motivated by racism. and this election is about race, charlotte. it has nothing to do with blacks playing the race card. have you ever thought about the number of whites who won't vote for obama because he's not white? or the whites who are only voting for mccain because he's not black? let's be real, america has been a racist country from its inception. don't call for color-blindedbness now. who are you kidding? let the man say what he wants.

    September 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. bonna

    I didn't get the joke, but I hope palin isn't trying to get the votes of the bitter, gun toting bandants!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. TKW- New Mexico

    This is news? We're in a economic crisis!

    September 29, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. ME

    Judy.....nearly ALL of the "fly-over states," that's who.

    September 29, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. C W

    Alcee Hastings put his foot in his mouth. I, for one, do not judge a whole race or group of people by the actions of one person.

    I'm voting against McCain and Palin for the people they are: hypocritical, untrustworthy, dangerously hot-headed and inexperienced, respectively.

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden are true leaders with solid ideas and the backbone to take on the real challenges we are facing and lead our country to a better tomorrow.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 29, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. Darryl

    With Gov Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain inserted himself into this bailout and caused it to fail..

    Hail to Senator John McCain another fine mess you gotten us into!!!!!!

    Obama 08/12

    September 29, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. PJ

    Members of WHAT former politcal party used to ban books? EVERYONE should be scared of Palin. Hastings is dead on with this one. If you recall your early twentieth-century German history, the National Socialists considered themselves to be a buncha regular guys and gals- good 'ol middy klaz...

    September 29, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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