September 24th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
7 years ago

Florida congressman points to Palin to rally Jews to Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, in the foreground, supported Sen. Hillary Clinton during the primaries but is now urging Democrats to support Sen. Barack Obama."]
(CNN) – Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

“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,” Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida said at a panel about the shared agenda of Jewish and African-American Democrats Wednesday. Hastings, who is African-American, was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race. “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,” Hastings added as the room erupted in laughter and applause.

After telling attendees that the most important thing Jewish and African-American Democrats could do to support one another was to get Sen. Barack Obama elected president, Hastings had one more message: “For those of you like me that supported Sen. Hillary Clinton, she lost! Get over it!”

Hastings was joined on the panel by Rep. Steven Cohen of Tennessee, who is Jewish and represents a majority African-American district; Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, who is African-American and whose district includes many of the significant sites in the 1960’s civil rights movement; and Georgetown Law Prof. Peter Edelman, who was a legislative assistant to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

Cohen, who recently remarked that Jesus Christ was a community organizer, took his comments about the founder of the Christian faith further Wednesday. “A lot of what Jesus talks about is wonderful,” Cohen said. “Talks about helping people and lifting them up and caring about people who are sick and all those things. He’s a great Democrat.”

The panel was part of the National Jewish Democratic Council’s annual conference. The Jewish Democratic group recently voiced criticism of Palin’s invitation to an anti-Iran rally timed to coincide with Mahmoud Ahmedinajad’s visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Palin’s invitation was withdrawn by the rally’s organizers after Hillary Clinton announced that she would no longer be attending the event.

The support of Jewish voters is shaping up to be a highly sought after prize in the general election match-up between Sen. Obama and Sen. John McCain. Jews have historically favored Democrats by wide margins in recent presidential races. But, the McCain campaign is making a concerted effort to go after the loyal Democratic constituency and Obama has been plagued by false Internet rumors that he is Muslim which have had particular salience in the Jewish community.

soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. CW in PSL

    Yes we can!

    Obama/Biden, the best choice for America's future.

    September 24, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. gbrown2


    September 24, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. LA Hispanic Conservative Female

    Why do people keep asking the obvious? Palin DOES NOT have foregin experince! BUT neither does OBAMA!!! Stop focusing on her, when you should be studying Obama and all of his LACK. Why doesn't Obama go and help his 1/2 brother in Kenya? Sara Palin is awesome, composed, smart and really does care about people. Obama says he's his brothers keeper, but where is poor 1/2 brother? living in hut somewhere in Kenya.... I look at people's actions not just what they SAY. Some food for thought
    The above, is scarry, Jews for Obama? Go Figure.... Obama will allow Iran to wipe you off the map. Sad.

    September 24, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Tell it, Rep. Hastings! Simply put is the best way and you hit the nail on the head with your comments!
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!

    September 24, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. T GUY


    VOTE OBAMA........08

    September 24, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. nate

    Every Jewish person I know in NYC is voting for Obama.

    September 24, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Not Ready For Prime Time

    I'm African American and this election doesn't have anything to do with race, or gender. Sarah Palin is not ready to be the VP and definitely not the president. That's it, end of story.

    September 24, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Tony in Mocksville NC

    I agree with the Congressman. Anyone who is not white and right should be scared of Sarah Palin and what she represents. You don't have to look too far to see a streak of white supremacy there, (and I'm a scared white guy).

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Sandy

    I say release Palin to the public and press, Palin should be treated no different that the rest. Just becuase She is a women does not mean special treatment. Palin, you are a robot with others pushing the buttons. If you are bad enough to accept the position, you should bad enough to deal with handling all questions from the press and the public. It almost feels like She starting the first grade learning her ABC. Palin, you can't hide and you will be found.

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. America for Obama

    Maybe when the jewish community hears that Palin's pastors believe's that terrorist attacks against Israel are "judgement from God" then they might get a little more bitter taste in their mouths about her.

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. AJ from Houston, Texas

    I don't understand the comparison.

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    I think that most Jews can agree with what Jesus said about caring for each other, charity, acts of kindness etc... What Jews have a problem with is Christian who misinterpret Jesus' teachings to prosecute homosexuals and invade a woman's uterus. And something tells me that Jesus wouldn't be too happy about people hunting for "sport". As a Jews, I am terrified of the prospect that Sarah Palin could be our next VP and I am disgusted that McCain would debase his ticket with likes of her. Once a maverick... now a yes-man for the Christian Right.

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Emily

    This shows how poor the choice of Palin was. If he chose someone else, it would not have been just 20% to go to McCain. Clinton supporters were already upset, and now even more upset by McCain.

    If McCain really wanted the support of Clinton supporters, why did not he choose Clinton as his VP? McCain is bi-partisan Maverick, it would have worked. He himself was considered as Dem VP in the past.

    Particularly under this economy, a senator from NY with great Wall Street and Main Street experience would have been great on the ticket.

    McCain should hurry before Obama take action to switch. Of course, we want Obama to hurry more.

    Obama/Biden/Clinton '08

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Molly

    I am Jewish but think this stuff is pretty lame.

    By the way, I am for Obama anyway.

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Oy! How about doing a little homework? Anyone who still believes the neo-con lies about Obama probably didn't score very well on their S.A.T.s....

    September 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. victor,nj


    September 24, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Jim

    I'm jewish and I don't get the joke but I'm voting for Barrack Obama, as well as the rest of the college students I know that will break the so-called tie with a huge new voting block come november 🙂

    September 24, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    I'm for Obama... But I can't touch this one... how can I comment on such ridiculisnous? I mean... I wasn't there so I'm not sure if this was all in joking fashion...


    September 24, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Owl

    Anyone who believes, as Sarah Palin does, that the violence in the middle east is G-d's punishment to the Jews for not accepting Jesus as the Messiah, is no friend of the Jews, no matter how the GOP tries to cover that up. My grandparents, they should rest in peace, came here from Poland to get away from that kind of persecution. They would never vote for such a woman and neither will I.

    September 24, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |

    This woman is going to rally the Jewish vote?

    Perhaps, someone should point out what the woman's minister thinks of Jews.

    September 24, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Belle


    Keep trying to throw down the Racism Card Obama WILL NOT WORK and your attempts are inexcusable!

    September 24, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Frank

    What? What does this have to do with protecting Jews and Blacks?!!!! This congressman's head should be examined. And of course you think Jews would much rather vote for a candidate whose relative loyalties to the U.S. and to Islam are in question, and who still to this day carries the name "Hussein" with him!!!!!? You all must be nuts, and the Jews that would vote for this guy better think twice before doing so!!!! CNN: you keep eliminating my comments, I dare you to print this one!!!! Don't become another N.Y. Times and keep your objectivity if you can!!!!

    September 24, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. Matt

    More race-baiting from Obama supporters.

    Is anybody surprised by these sleazy tactics anymore???

    America isn't tired of Republicans.

    America IS tired of the divisive politics the democrats have used the past 8 years.

    If Obama was white, he would be 20 points behind!!

    September 24, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Gracie


    Let the battle BEGIN........ I can't wait for the Debate.

    September 24, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. love everything republican

    Oh my word, this is dusgusting. what a nice bunch of people supporting Barack Obama

    September 24, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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