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. Anonymous

    we do still live in America, free speech remember? especially when the truth is spoken, palin is a disgrace to every person in America.

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. baby mama

    a sleazy Demorat??? no way...........and in other breaking news..the sun came up today!!!

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

    This is the true face of racism in America. Preached at the black community from their church pulpits, most every Sunday..

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Outta the Mouth of a Babe?

    Did you say it Sarah ... you know ... Sambo ... did you say it?

    It's OK if you did, I guess. I just need to know the truth.

    September 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Team America

    JUDY-–

    You say, "who wants a VP who carries a gun and shoots animals for sport?" Maybe a good question for you is, who wants a democratic president would has an affair on his wife multiple times in the White House?? I'll take the VP with a gun, at least they have morals and values to stand on.

    September 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. heather

    Oh James, Gov.Pallin's mother is Jewish. LOL

    September 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Robert

    Another idiot Congressman shoots off his mouth1

    September 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    It is very hard to imagine anyone, especially a mother, killing an innocent animal. I would think that mothers instinctivally feel the need to nurture, not to kill.

    September 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Bruce

    Did she CRY real TEARS?

    September 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. yordoshbek

    please respect people. Even though she is not qualify but as an individual she desrve respect. Mc same is abusing and insulting women by naming her as the VP. he could have chosen better women.
    I think he did it on purpose. Thanks

    September 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. indy chris

    but but but but it was TRUE!

    September 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. huh?!

    Who gives a crap about this right now??? Was anyone losing sleep over this guy or Palin? I feel sorry for anyone that was.

    What a lame attempt at a distraction!

    Obama up in Gallup by 9 pts. That's the news!

    September 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. LB

    I hope after Palin says one of the many lies in the Debate that she says on the campaign trail, Senator Biden looks her straight in the face and asks her Have you ever even read what Obama plans to do on Taxes and Education or are you just repleating what the McCain camp tells you. Because if you had ever read or research anything Obama proposes, you would know what you just said is a complete untruth.

    September 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Eugene

    How come this article leads with "An African-American congressman from Florida" and the previous article leads with "Rep. John Boehner, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives"? In fact this article doesn't even NAME the apologizing congressman in question, and NEVER actually states his political affiliation.

    Just an interesting observation, CNN.

    September 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Tim E

    How come those whose response begins with "I am an African American" never use a hyphen, as if to say the two are equal, and they always put Africa first? I sense so much disaffection that I wonder what is the point of listening to anything they have to say. They communicate a lack of concern about anyone's welfare but their own and those whose skin color is the same as theirs I suppose that could be taken to mean one of us is racist, but I never begin a response with my skin color, or any euphemism for it.

    September 29, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Matt-Nebraska

    When is the rest of the Obama campaign going to apologize?

    Read these blogs, look all over the internet, Obama is running the sleaziest campaign in history!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. ek

    The House of Representatives just killed the largest economic bailout plan ever considered, and THIS is the lead story CNN chooses to put on its ticker?!?!

    September 29, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. melonhead

    All of us better learn to hunt and dress our kill, if the price of groceries continue to rise, we will all need to learn to hunt. At least if we do that we want have to depend on Welfare and food stamps to support our families.
    Go Palin!!

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Thanks but no thanks McCain

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his top aides took credit for building a winning bailout coalition – hours before the vote failed and stocks tanked.

    The rush to claim he had engineered a victory now looks like a strategic blunder that will prolong the McCain’s campaign’s difficulty in finding a winning message on the economy.

    Shortly before the vote, McCain had bragged about his involvement and mocked Sen. Barack Obama for staying on the sidelines.

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Eating Buffalo Wings in Heaven with Russert

    Unless this "apology" of his was contained in a resignation letter, it is wholly insufficient. Sorry, not good enough, sir.

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. TyWebb

    Why apologize?

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Joe

    Dear Congressman – Are you now brave enough to apologize for taking bribes from defendents in your court while sitting as the federal trial judge? You, being only 1 of 13 federal judges to ever being impeached and removed from the federal bench in US history, should have the courage, & obvious time, to have the backbone apologize?

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Lance

    I'm from Alaska, but I've never heard of "stripping" a moose. What does that mean?

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Teresa of Orange County

    She can't debate herself out of a paper bag. Better check out the Caffety Files again. The want to be VP is getting prepped for a upset. Biden will smile while is ripping the debate on her.

    Obama/Biden 2008-2016

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Alexis

    why does he have to apologize??? i am lost i dont get it!! she walks all over saying whatever she feels like, and she doesnt apologize, and now no one can jab her!!! VERY UNFAIR!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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