August 31st, 2008
08:06 PM ET
13 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. Alison, FL

    yea i'm sure you guys were all over James Dobson when he wished rain on Obama's nomination acceptance.

    August 31, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Lee from FL

    God forbid this storm causes any death, its not something to joke about.
    But if i remember correctly, wasn't some republican nut praying for rain to wash out the DEMS convention.

    August 31, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. the Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    what do you expect from the Democrats

    They are just plain nasty

    August 31, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  4. SF for Obama

    Why apologize? Did the right-wing flat-earth society wingnut apologize for exhorting "prayers for rain" to disrupt Obama's acceptance speech?

    Maybe it's God. Maybe it's Karma. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    August 31, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. nadeem

    You have to admit it is ironic that Republicans were praying for Rain in Denver.

    August 31, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. The Lady

    Sorry but I agree with him, the RNC did not have a problem wishing it would rain on DNC convention. Becareful what you ask for.

    August 31, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  7. Fred

    Only the BRAINDEAD & Republicans would take offense to those statements





    August 31, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. SF for Obama

    Ms. Dawson, you betcha! Senator Obama will apologize... right after Senator McCain apologizes for voting TWICE against an independent council to investigate how the Bush administration allowed 1500 people to drown and thousands more languish without food or water while he patted Brownie on the back and spoonfed McSame his birthday cake 3 years ago.

    August 31, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. Kevin,FL

    What a douche didn't he realize there was a camera on him? he's sitting right next to it..

    August 31, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Sam, GA

    Sam, GA August 31st, 2008 7:24 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    During Katrina, weren't Bush and McCain seen eating cake in a hangar?

    Then this year all the republicans were praying for rain of biblical proportions on the Obama acceptance speech.

    What IS going on here? Is God trying to say something to someone?

    August 31, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  11. lol

    the democratic party has gone to hell under the leadership of nancy pelosi, howard dean, and harry reid. there tasteless comments, and sexist attitudes are the reason so many have jumped ship to register independent!

    August 31, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Sam, GA

    You know, democrats HAVE had to put up with a lot from evangelicals and others, and when we try to say something back, we're moderated out or chastised. I'm tired of it.

    August 31, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. mel from Ohio

    As McCain would say about almost anything–"You have to have a sense of humor". The hurricane has not hit yet and no one knows what the damage will be but the Repubs have already gone into spin mode, who are they kidding with these outrageous nothing. They will try to turn anything into a political opportunity. Oh that's right, it's because they messed up soooo horribly with Katrina.

    August 31, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  14. Kathleen

    The ones who should be denounced are Focus on the Family for asking their supporters to pray for rains of biblical proportions on the democratic convention.

    Fowler said he was kidding. Focus was seriously calling for doom.

    Pray for peace in America

    August 31, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. John .A

    I don't accept what the guy did but here comes the GOP, righteous than right judge everybody trying to link Obama to this, less than a week ago one evangelical pastor and his right wing followers were praying for rain to disrupt the DNC convention , hypocrites as usual.

    August 31, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Alan Boyer

    but it's OK for Dobson's people to pray that God rains on Obama's acceptance speech. Unbelievable.

    August 31, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. dr.mimi de la cruz for OBAMA/BIDEN





    August 31, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. Steve - southern Illinois

    Here come the thought police. Where were they when the GOP lunatics were asking for prayer to rain out the DNC?

    August 31, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. Kim

    Thats 'almost' as ignorant as Focus on the Family suggesting that evangelicals pray for Obamas nomination to be rained out.

    August 31, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  20. Chuck

    I seem to remember some Republicans praying for rain last Thursday over Ivesco Field.

    August 31, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. YOLA

    Good! That was so not funny!

    August 31, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Nora

    Katon Dowson should call Rev. Jerry Fallwell – first. / Sic/
    Did GOP forget Katrina ? Yes – Bush & GOP you are cynical.

    August 31, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. Clinton/McCain

    What a sick man. I hope this hurts the Democrats big time!


    August 31, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  24. Ray from CA

    How is Obama brought into this?

    August 31, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. Donna

    He didn't say anything that regular folks haven't already said..he need to go further...the GOP weren't denouncing anyone last week when their surrogates were "praying for rain of biblical proportions" at the DNC...

    August 31, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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