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. Tony

    Hastings is an idiot and should still be in jail.

    This comes right from the Dems playbook.

    September 29, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Fred C Dobbs

    His remarks didn't get much play on the liberal media – CNN and MSNBC.

    Don't look for a parody of his vulgar remarks on SNL.

    Hillary Clinton supporters for John McCain!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Marguerite Arledge

    If the Government wants to "bail out" America, give the 700 Billion to all adult "Americans", with the stipulation that the money can only be used as "transfer payments" to pay off debt.
    Now that would enhance economic growth of Wall Street, Companies and "We The People".
    If you put that to a vote by Americans, I bet you'd get a solid YES!

    September 29, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. PJ

    Kim, what makes Obama qualified?

    September 29, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. David McMillan

    Deregulation and rampant competition were the main culprits. It is the moral equivalent of the NFL playing a full season without referees. In other words, ROLLARBALL. We should not bailout neanderthals.

    September 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Phoenix

    Why should anyone apologize to Sarah, she is never forced to apologize to anyone. I guess that's white woman priviledge in action.

    Republicans for Obama

    September 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. J - East Windsor, CT

    What he said was tasteless... but true.

    September 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. keeth

    Open mouth, insert foot. He was a fool to think he could get away with saying that in the first place. It shows he is really out of touch with Middle America. It isn't a Dem or Repub issue, it's an individual issue of personal integrity, and apparently Rep. Hastings has none.

    September 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. WI Cheesehead

    The sky is not falling it’s the economy stupid otherwise it’s just the Chinese parachuting in from their space walk to check on their investments because the only thing America exports to china these days is debt.

    September 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. H. Charles

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

    Blacks don't get called out for racist remarks because we don't commit racist ACTS. We've never hanged anyone, burned down their church, stopped anyone from going to school, enslaved anyone, killed another race's leaders. I could go on and on. What he said was out of place but not racist. He was speaking to JEWS!!! Let's be real about this people.

    September 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Break Talk is a dummy

    Break Talk,

    Obama is in the SENATE. The HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES voted on the bailout today. The SENATE has not yet voted, thus, neither has Obama.

    EDUCATION IS GOOD, IGNORANCE IS BAD!

    September 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. MAMA FOR OBAMA

    SORRY WHITE AMERICA IF THERE ARE ANY BLACKS OUT THERE THAT ARE RACISTS THEY LEARNED IT FROM YOU.............

    THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY I HAVE A DAUGHTER THAT IS 13 I WOULD LIKE FOR ALL RACES TO JUST GET ALONG...............

    OBAMA IS NOT BLACK HE IS MIXED WITH WHITE AND BLACK.....

    OBAMA 08

    September 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Becky

    It sounds like people have not heard Palin's point regarding Israel – that they should not be second guessed about their own defense. Let them have the right to defend themselves as they see fit.

    September 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Victor from MI

    OMG that is sooooo sexist!! Palin is such a delicate flower, what was he thinking!? /sarcasm

    September 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Karen, Arkansas

    I think the economy is a much more important issue to be focused on....this news is dribble.

    September 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Hillary Democrat

    Another quote from an angry black man. WAKE UP AMERICA!!! These times are not for joking around. We are in a crisis and need experience in the White House. VOTE MCCAIN in 2008 and HILLARY IN 2012.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. R.I.F.

    Who cares CNN.

    You need to be worried about expleianing why we need this bailout to the American people. This isn't about CEOs and their pay. It's about keeping the lights on so people can still have jobs.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. yay of PA

    Gladd to see that Mr. Hastings saw how prejudiced and inappropriate his earlier remarks were. Took him a while to retract, which is discerning, but better late than never.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Hillary Supporter for Hockey Moms

    I guess this is the kind of CHANGE we can expect from Obama and his supporters!!

    OBAMA = SOCIALISM

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Carl Justus

    If being a good hunter and being able to see Russia if you are on the right Island by Alaska is enough information and experince to become president then there are plenty of Alaskans ready for the presidency.
    Supporting big oil so they the citizens do not have to pay any state tax, but get more money from the state because of the oil revenues the citizens of many of the other states pay in state taxes.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. aware

    Governor Palin has an authentic moral center and genuine American values! She relates very well to everyday people and has an intuitive sense that puts her in touch with America's pulse! :)

    It is difficult for all the "you grease my palm and I'll grease yours" manipulative, lying politicians to accept the real thing! She is the same generation as Obama but she doesn't have to fake it!

    Don't underestimate Governor Sarah Palin!

    Vote McCain/Palin 08 for reform with integrity! :)

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. What?

    why should he apologize for that. why do democrats feel they have to apologize to republicans every time they say something. republicans say the nastiest things and they do it with a straight face and no remorse. then they claim that they did because they were "defending" themselves.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. I Invented the McMuffin... and fire

    It's 2008 people... get over your small minded racism and realize that Hastings is a MAN who said something stupid. no more or no less relevant than the White State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie La. who suggest that we should pay poor people $1000 to be sterilized and pay rich people to have more children.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. Informed Voter

    @ Charlotte:

    You are full of ignorance, it's sad that there are others like you. We know who your are voting for, and we "REALLY" know why your are voting for that person.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. ALLAN USA

    ONLY BECAUSE BLACK MAN SAY IT,
    IT NOT RACIST , IF IT WAS WHITE MAN ...OOOO GG,THEY WILL CALL FOR RACIST. OBAMA IS NOT GOOD FOR USA.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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