September 29th, 2008
03:18 PM ET
14 years ago

Black Florida congressman apologizes for Palin comments

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Jon in Talent

    And please tell me why it took 1 week for him to show he's biased? MSM anyone? Just serves to show that the dems are afraid, very afraid. Why are so many libs afraid of Gov. Palin?

    September 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Rob

    with all the lying McPain has been doing , I wouldn't appologize to either one of they for anything .

    September 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Bill in Ct.

    O, PLEASE, as much racist crap the Republicans say and do everyday in this country. The republicans are all over this country now putting in rules in some places that won't allow blacks and hispanics to vote in key states. Here's some of the things the republicans are doing: if you have an Obama shirt on when you go vote, you can't vote, 2: in Mich. they tried stopping people from voting if your house was in (foreclosure) 3: if your ID didn't match the address on the voters list you can't vote, 4: sending out mailers, so when you fill it out and send it back, it goes to another address and they change your vote,5: some places in Florida, their telling people they have warrants so they can't vote, so on and so on. So PLEASE, spare me the BS. By the way, he shouldn't had said that, LOL

    September 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Yep, racism is alive and well in the U.S.–most of it by blacks against whites.

    September 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    Who cares...

    September 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Robert

    Inappropriate comments are inappropriate regardless of whether you are white or black, democrat or repulican. How is there any connection between how she spends her free time hunting, etc. and how she would vote on an issue strickly relevant to jews or african-american? I think all of our politics should be addressed to ALL people – regardless of race, religion, etc.

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. no fear

    well, I'm not black or jewish, but I can't help but agree to not vote for the mcain palin ticket. it truly is hard to wrap my brain around the fact that there really are folks who think Palin is qualified to be vp–let along president.

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Brenda

    Unbelievable. I can't believe the calibre of people who have left comments here. Most of them are downright silly. When it comes down to it, all the name calling, all the slimy remarks will mean nothing.

    I'm voting for McCain/Palin...we don't need anymore BO in this country.

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. boss

    It's great to hear someone step up and say "my vote is going to be based solely on the color of a candidates skin, and you should too." I'm undecided right now, but the constitution gives us the right to bare arms. Seeing as how Obama taught the constitution and claims to firmly believe in it, I'm sure he's slapping his forehead right now and wondering why on earth this A%$ hole is throwing his name around.

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Mike in NYC

    A black apologize to a white? I thought there was a law against that.

    BO needs to keep his more hot-headed peeps in line if he's ever going to make it to the White House.

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. tony

    Palin is one dangerously stupid woman. Each time she opens her mouth she sets women back 100 years, yet most are too ignorant to even realize it.

    If you think things are bad now, elect mcCain and Palin and kiss your job, your savings, retirement accounts and pensions GOODBYE!


    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Mo

    Yeah this congressman should have not made this comment but it's all said and done and he apologized for the comment. But more importantly Obama and VP Joe Biden are going to win especially with the defeat of the Bailout Bill and the Dow Jones plunging. This only hurts the Republicans in the President race and helps the Democrats. Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice President!!!

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. alpha_nu_916

    the market is tanking right now and the republicans still are asking for apologies. I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN AGAIN.
    I guess i'll have to vote libertarian.

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Anna Sanders

    Alcee, your comments offended me, and I don't accept your apology. Fix it!!

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. StreetSmith27

    Give me a break,! Obama didn't make the comment so lay off him! Everyone is entitled to their opinion, spoken or not!

    September 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. tony

    IT'S THE REPUBLICANS STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    September 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Selling jets on ebay for America

    This was in fact atrocious, and his
    "apology", unless contained in a resignation letter, is totally insufficient. That being said, there are worse criminals in Congress, ie: Pelosi.

    September 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. richard t lewis

    That is a racist statement and if any white person would have made a statement of that latitude. rev jj and al sharp would be asking for resignation. all this mixed presidential nominee is doing is putting this country further apart in its racial devide. I hope and pray he doesn't get in office. i fear if something would happen to him. all hell would break loose. and then where would our country be.

    September 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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