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 Palin’s invitation was withdrawn by the rally’s organizers after Hillary Clinton announced that she would no longer be attending the event.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. Brenda

    Tell it like it is Congressman!


    September 24, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Dictatorship

    Listen up folks.

    Vote Obama or else.

    The tactics of humiliation, derision and shaming people into voting your way is what Obama means by change.

    Is this still a democracy? Are we still all Americans?

    Can AAs now say and claim anything just to advantage Obama?

    September 24, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. George

    Is this Hastings related to reverend Wright?

    September 24, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Aileen

    That is the most disgusting thing I have heard. Here are the Democrats using race and religion, and the fact that Hillary was there makes me sick. Hillary is nothing but a hate monger! I was a supporter, but now I am glad she lost!

    September 24, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Same old ploys

    Tell me Hill does not agree with this.

    September 24, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. American Ariman

    It troubles me that we have leaders like this in our Congress. This man is using reverse racism to stir up hate and get Obama elected. Pitiful.

    September 24, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. CS

    What a ridiculous comment! It's racist and unnecessary. Don't like her because of her policies, not because she hunts and skins moose. We all have stuff that if scrutinized, would probably seem odd to some folks.

    September 24, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    These comments are below someone who holds elected office. As a Jew, I find them extremely repulsive and these sort of comments push me away from the Democratic ticket.

    September 24, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Lots of nerve

    Divide and conquer- the Obama MO.

    Truth is irrelevant- just play the fear and the race cards.

    Wow- how low can they go just to get Obama installed?

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Nando, Florida


    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. MCCAIN 08


    September 24, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. John

    I am totally for Obama, but that is one of the stupidest comment I have heard from either side this political season. Duh. Barack will be President and then we have a heck of alot of work to do to fix all the things that the GOP screwed up the past eight years, a heck of alot!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Hate does the dirty work

    The Obamabots will see nothing wrong with these lies.

    September 24, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Tom

    Hastings, you (and Hillary, who you supported) are old school and these are old school tactics. We don't need this kind of hate speech and divisiveness to win this election. Please get with the program.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 24, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Karen Dunlap

    All of you naysayers are way out of line – your comments are unjustified and due to this travesty I will be switching my vote to McGain/Palin

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Debby

    OMG how lame is this guy. Karen is right people flocked to Jesus he didn't go out and community organize them together. LOL Maybe these surrogates of Obama should start reading the Bible to get their facts right.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Amerika the beautiful for Obama

    What is scary is the belief that Americans are so vulnerable right now that they will fall for this hate.

    Just like Europe did in the 1930s.

    No force... no lies... no intimidation... no hate just to sway the vote to the least qualified candidate.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. kay

    that is the most racist statement to come from this entire election season so far. Congradualions Dems!

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Eric M

    What a joke. The double standards in this country are outrageous. A woman can't care about African American or Jewish voters simply because he hunts moose?

    Can you imagine the outrage if a white politician said this about a minority candidate??

    These comments are a disgrace.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Eating Buffalo Wings in Heaven with Russert

    Uh, THIS is Obama's politics of CHANGE? Race-baiting and anti-semitism?

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. White and Black support for Obama

    Obama have to invite Mccain first at everything. But Republican will always say Obama doesn't work bi-partisanship.

    Good enough to be a leader.

    September 24, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |

    lol totally dont get the comparison either.

    September 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. joseph

    I wish we could just text our votes in already, and let Ryan Seacrest announce the results, this election is getting real pathetic. Because people hunt, they dont like jews or blacks, I fail to see the corralation, but wouldnt expect anything less from a republicrat.

    September 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Chuckjones

    So, he's saying that Sarah Palin doesn't care about Jews and blacks because she believes in the right to bear arms and that she hunts?

    We hear from the left that race will be an issue in this election, but the only ones talking about race as a factor is the left.

    I no longer have words to describe the disgust I feel. Not just for people like Hastings, but for those who clap and laugh at their hate mongering.

    September 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. MAM

    The McCain campaign are actually giving us all the clearest indication of their estimation of Palin's ability to fill the roll of vice president. If they do not think that she is capable of fielding questions from the press, they cannot think that she is capable of being the vice president (or, heavens help us, the president). I am not a reporter, in any way affiliated with media, or a politico. I am "just" a citizen. However even I understand this. I wish others understood this as well.

    September 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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