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. Rich in Atlanta

    He called it like he saw it, and while voicing what many were thinking and expressing himself in a way he felt his constitutients would best understand immediately. Yes, he could have been more tactful, but McCain could have also told the truth in his commercials. C'est la vie.

    But he still stood by the meaning behind the comments, he just admitted he should have said it better

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. NObama

    NObama, you can KEEP the CHANGE.

    and I like the idea of about everything Palin stands for.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Brian - Trinidad

    Too many of these people hiding in Obama's closet to get my vote. McCain/Palin is the sensible way to vote.

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. TESAP;SAVANNAH, GA

    OH BOO....WHO CARES.............

    AMERICA IS FALLING APART.............. PALIN SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO BRUNETTES SHE HAS REALLY TAKEN THEM DOWN A NOTCH

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Debra

    Just absolutely pathetic. You really can't apologize effectively when you just spout absolute stupidity. It's a shame the mouth is obviously not connected to the brain.

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Bob in VA

    Hastings is an idiot. Palin is doing a fine job of sinking herself everytime she opens her mouth.

    This week's debate will finish her off. Future comparisons to Dan Quayle will be considered an insult –to Quayle!

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Who is this person that say something like that. But on the same note look what they said about Sen Obama. Go Obama/Biden

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Tom

    Rep. Alcee needs to take a english course. And then he nees to think before he speaks.

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. jm for sc

    Break Talk, you along with many bloggers need to get your facts straight. When a senator votes presents, most of the time it means they would agree or disagree with the bill but wishes to have it revised before voting yea or nay. All senators votes present from time to time.
    That is just a bunch of bs started by republicans because they had nothing negative to say about Obama.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. dan

    Where are the calls for this guys resignation? If it were reversed, a white Republican said those things all you would hear would be calls for their resignation and the TV would be wall to wall Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton demanding boycotts until the person resigned.

    If you think racism is a one way street and only white republicans are racists like many here seem to believe with the opinion that that is the only reason not to vote for Obama you are delusional.

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Chuck

    I still hate Pelosi and her DO NOTHING CONGRESS more!!!

    97 DEMS voted against bill just so Obama can get a bigger bump in polls!!!

    VOTE INDEPENDENT!!! SAVE AMERICA!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. JG GJ

    Sarah Palin is a dangerous woman

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. McCain doesnt know if we are in a recession

    I don't know why people apologize after making comments that they know they meant. Stick by it or dont say it. Simple as that.

    OR was it one of those "heat of the moment" comments?

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Elizabeth

    Let's just get rid of that shrill, inarticulate, murdeous, gun-toting, bossy, whiny, arrogant and lying hick, Palin, and that old senile and boring warmonger McCain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. MJ

    Sounds like Phoenix is holding some sort of grudge...I wonder if he/she is black.

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. mitch

    it was a stupid thing to say, but, she shouldn't be wearing baby polar bear mittens!

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Mark Fenton

    This is a U.S. Congressman? He doesn't even speak proper English when he disses Gov. Palin!

    It's NOT "Anybody who ... don't...".

    It should be "Anybody who ... doesn't ...".

    This is what we can expect from elected officials? My heavens...

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Eric in Houston

    Is what this Congressman said any better than what Don Imus said? I think it is just as bad. The punishment should equate with Imus's. He should be kicked out of public office for that.

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. proud army and navy mom

    to : Obama Bin Laden September 29th, 2008 3:38 pm ET He writes
    "just like a coon".

    Didn't you take you meds today? Maybe you need to take a rest from your computer for a while because you are a flaming idiot.

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. LMG

    This is very interesting. Talk about a double standard in this Country. If a white legislator (particularly a Republican) had made the statement Hastings did, it would be on the front of every major paper and there would be cries of outrage from the NAACP, LULAC, and every other minority special interest group within the United States. All Hastings has to do if toss out an off-the-cuff "apology" and all's well. I'm sure Mr. Hasting's constituents are pleased with his demonstrated ignorance and lack of civility. Hopefully he'll be equally understanding of less than positive remarks made regarding Nobama.

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Mickie in PA

    And I'm sure there are no bigots in the republican sector. Let's get over ourselves and vote on the issues for once. The only people who voted for Bush were the ones who liked his "cowboy" image and he proved his boots were empty.

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Glenn in California

    Oh please. This is non-news. Would there be an uproar if Chris Rock had said it? He said it tongue in cheek. Don't make it out to be bigger than that.

    Thanks, but no thanks, to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    Go Obama/Biden!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. rodlang

    Hastings was impreached (removed) as a judge...and then ran for Congress. Being a democrat, he won. Typical dems.

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. A. DeHaven

    Yeah Sarah! Here is a REAL woman. I want a candidate who gives more than pretty speeches and memorized lines out of the textbooks. Charisma does not a president make. Give me guts and experience and we got both with McCain/Palin. Obama would not last a minute if he had the hateful, demonic opposition that McCain and Palin have had to endure. (No he has just had to endure being called "sexy" by a Bimbo named Barbara on the View. My God Barbara, what has happened to you?) He's a pansy who is used to being "shoed" in just as he was in Illinois. He has no grit or moral fiber and is in cahoots with the very partison and dirty dealing ACORN group getting thousands of inner city people registered to "vote." All liberal democrats you see.

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Peggy Robson

    All those politicians just flap their lips, then apologize and flap some more. They can't help themselves...it is just ridiulous this whole political scene. There has been so much negativity on the part of the dems and the republicans that I am going to have to force myself to vote for the "lessor of 2 evils" because that is what we are left with...and I can see why with all the rock throwing and cuts being thrown back and forth...in the media and on the campaign trail. Now with the greedy investment bankers dumping our economy on the head and standing there with their hands out for their huge severence pays it has gotten even uglier. Hey I need money, I'm in a financial jam...where is my bail out?

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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