August 31st, 2008
08:06 PM ET
15 years ago

Dem apologizes for joking about hurricane


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A YouTube video shows Fowler joking about Gustav."](CNN) - Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler apologized Sunday for recently joking Hurricane Gustav's expected landfall on the same day as the opening of the Republican National Convention suggested God was on the Democrats' side.

A YouTube video of the comments posted by the conservative blog and showed Fowler joking with South Carolina Rep. John Spratt about the timing of the hurricane while on a flight from the Democratic National Convention back to South Carolina. The person who filmed the conversation is not identified.

“The hurricane is going to hit New Orleans about the time they start. The timing is, at least it appears now, it will be there Monday. That just demonstrates God is on our side,” Fowler said, while laughing. Fowler also told Spratt that “everything’s cool.”

Speaking to the Associated Press Sunday, Fowler said his comments were intended to make light of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's remark that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 was God's punishment for abortion and homosexuality.

On Sunday, Fowler told The Associated Press that he was making fun of comments made by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said the attacks were God's punishment for abortion, homosexuality and other sins.

"I don't believe in a God that's vengeful," Fowler said. "I believe in a God that's compassionate."

"This is a point of national concern. I think everybody of good will has great empathy and sympathy for people in New Orleans," Fowler also said. "Most religious people are praying for people in New Orleans. There is no political connotation to this whatsoever. This was just poking fun at Jerry Falwell and the nonsensical thing he had said several years ago."

South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson sharply criticized Fowler's comments, saying, “The outrageous behavior of two of the Obama campaign's highest profile supporters in the south is despicable, a cynical polarization of life and death. I call on Barack Obama to immediately denounce Fowler and Spratt and demand sincere apologies from these members of the Democratic leadership.”

Filed under: Extra • Uncategorized
soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Spirit of America

    God is always on the side of the suffering. Too bad no major political party is.

    August 31, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. Shane

    Are all you guys serious? It was just a silly joke meant for no one's ears but the person he was talking to. If America did actually stand for freedom the article would be about a man's invasion of privacy. Instead it is an article condemning a man for what he said. You all sit there and call him disgusting for making a comment about a tragedy but do nothing yourselves to aid those who are going to be affected. Good job, you guys are political activists!

    Meanwhile people to the far right constantly say things like this but don't apologize or even feel the need to do so.

    August 31, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. Donelle Jones

    come first thought upon hearing Gustovs' path was that this is proof God hates Republican policies!

    August 31, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  4. Adrienne

    The first thing that i thought was about all the rightwing church people who prayed a huge storm would rain out the DNC. If i were the type of person who thought god punished sin... it would seem telling. But i'm not a religious nut.

    August 31, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. Twisted

    Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler and Michael Moore believe God is on there side by destroying a City and killing people. What a party. These bitter people only bring God to the forefront when they thing they can claim they have power with him. Read 1Tim 3:3. Yet they have thrown God out of everything from school to court rooms to trying to take it off the US Money. God will one day be their Judge Then they will Know his power and then every knee shall bow, Including theirs.

    August 31, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. Brent

    If I were him, I'd sooner reference James Dobson's very recent prayerful request for torrential rain to fall on the DNC convention. I'd sooner buy that than a Falwell reference six years after the fact.

    August 31, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. Linda

    welcome to the NEW party, now officially the Demagogic Party.

    August 31, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. Jason

    The best part of this election is that the Youtube world is going to help Republicans. Whereas McCain gets grief for not being "hip" with the Internet, it will be the firsthand reports like these that balance out the liberal mainstream media. McCain may get less airtime from the powerhouses of media, but with clips like these, the Democrats will not be able to hide just how hateful they are to each other and anyone else that they can't use to get elected.

    August 31, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Get over it.
    He said what millions of others thought.

    How about Pat Robertson talking about how New Orleans suffered because they accepted gays?
    Where's the apology for THAT?

    August 31, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. Patti

    Usually you print that someone had apologized for a remark; but, here it's before. So far, no apologies. Like they haven't commented on Palin, they probably won't apologize.

    August 31, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. Obama 08

    Did Obama say this? Did he approve of this?? People of this site have lost all credibility. No wonder this country is in such a mess and the joke of democracies worldwide!!

    August 31, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. RyanD.

    what does this have to do with Obama exactly?

    Thought so.

    August 31, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. Ryan

    Not sure what any of this has to do with Senator Obama. I guess people are willing to grasp at any straws they can when they don't have a more intelligent argument.

    August 31, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. Ryan

    Referencing Falwell? Give me a break.

    August 31, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
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