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

Black Florida congressman apologizes for Palin comments

Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida is apologizing for recent comments about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

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. John

    Please comments do not help anybody in this election. Do not say anything. Keep focused on the issues and nothing more. Stay on the issues. Just the issues. Only on the issues. McCain can be beat just on the issues. Nothing else is neccessary. Do not making comments that are unneccessary other than what is neccessary, ESPECIALLY IN FLORIDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should step down from your post immediately, because you show poor judgement in yourself and the future of this country. I don't want a third term of Bush policies. Neither should you.

    September 29, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Everyman

    An ignorant man with an ignorant coment proves that African Americans can be rascist too.

    September 29, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. ted

    In reply to :
    Hispanic Female Republican September 29th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

    Those comments were reckless and have no place in this race.

    McCain/Palin '08!!

    I really wonder why Hispanics supporting McCain/Republicans ?
    They always used you people against your own people. Think loudly.

    I am not very educated (just high school graduate) but i can easily tell how selfish McCain is – long time back he ignored/dumped his first wife for money, then he choose Palin (cheerleader to boost his campaign) – he ignored amerian people and finally, McCain/Republicans, for poltical reasons, they killed bailout pkg – they dont care even country goes under depression.

    So wake up people – act smart and vote for Obama for change to the rotten politics.

    God bless america ..

    September 29, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. James Eicker

    After today's failed vote in congress, I think it's time to get all republicans out of office. I can't believe that our representatives, facing such an important piece of legislature, could get in front of the cameras and indicate that their feelings were hurt, so they let this bill fail. That just shows you what the republicans mean when they say America first. Yeah right. Boy do we need change, and not the kind that Sen. McCain gives lip service to. Wake up America, enough is enough.

    September 29, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Dude, just ignore her...maybe she'll go away.

    September 29, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Judy Arkansas

    Charlotte September 29th, 2008 3:26 pm ET
    Your true colors are showing and the moderator should not have even let your comment be posted. I have have seen both whites and blacks make stupid and ignorant comments. But your statement "Typical Black comment" shows your true character.

    September 29, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. J from DC


    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Matt

    Please, she's probably seen like 3 black people the whole time she was in Alaksa.

    "I can fix race relations, I can see the black neioghborhood from my high horse."

    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Tony


    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. David, Silver Spring, MD

    What was he trying to say, exactly?

    Politicians, whatever their political affiliation, need to quit trying to sound "with it" or "hip" or whatever. They should take their time and think about what they want to say.

    People on the opposite side already have too much invested in misunderstanding and misinterpreting their opponents' words. Why give them a lump of verbal clay that they can shape however they please?

    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Julie, NY

    Does it make anyone happy that this guy might be hanging around the Oval Office after Obama gets elected?

    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Cam

    I want to know why CNN has totally dropped the story about Rick Davis and his sleazy company getting money up until last month. This to me is news because it is a direct contradiction to what McCain is railing against on the stump and at the debate.

    Also, where are Squeeky Fromme....OOPS I mean squeeky clean Palin's tax returns.

    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Tucson, AZ

    I agree those comments have NO place in American politics. I must, however, point out that looking at the posts here at least Obama/Biden supporters have the integrity and guts to condemn the comments as well, as McCain/Palin supporters will back up any words that come out of their sides mouths no matter how blantently false or morally bankrupt! I also have to "wag the finger at CNN" for being somewhat racist in their own rite for posting this story when there have been an abundance of blantently racist shots against Obama that have never seen the light of day on your site...i.e. the waffle box which showed a RACIST caricature of Obama!

    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Election Watcher

    Imagine an elected official had equally inflammatory comments about Obama, people would be calling for his resignation!

    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. RDS

    As a black American and an Obama supporter, I think this was a dumb comment. I couldn't see the point then and still can't. Secondly, Charlotte is a complete idiot. This has been proven over and over again since the primaries. I'm glad to see computers have been brought to ever sector of America, but seriously they should monitor the 'short bus' users more carefully. Does it really help your cause to discredit one idiotic racist statement with another.'s not just a word in the dictionary.

    September 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. ohio

    well i know for sure palin is not qualified. Dont worry no remorse for liars

    September 29, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Fransi Weinstein

    Personally I wouldn't be apologizing for the comment. Every American should be shaking in their boots just at the thought of Sara Palin becoming Vice President, let alone President. For that matter, I wouldn't be too excited about John McCain either.

    September 29, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Sam

    Hey Jan..we are not all racists. Speak for yourself, thank you.

    September 29, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Hispanic Democrat

    He brought it over the edge, but he is showing that there needs to be a sense of urgency for those still supporting Palin/Mccain.
    Are those still supporting her, as dumb or dumber than her?
    I am dissappointed with a lot of this country.

    Mccain can only tell sob stories and sling mud in his debates. That is never covered!

    September 29, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. The Jedi Mind Trick

    This just in.

    Sarah Palin, while jogging in Arizona was bitten by a rattlesnake. Due to a prolonged recover period, she will be unable to campaign with John McCain and will be withdrawing her name as his VP choice.

    Film at 11

    September 29, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Steve

    What an idiot. Those of you whom this moron represents must be soooo proud.

    September 29, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Amy, NY

    John McCain better get Joe Lieberman down to Florida to straighten this out.

    September 29, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Tony



    September 29, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. baby mama

    a sleazy Demorat..........?? no way.........and in other news, the
    sun came up today

    September 29, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. fella from Chicago

    The only reason Rep. Hastings is back pedaling is because the Dems have chastized him good by now. You don't try to win Florida with a heavy Jewish population by hurling Nazi like insults at anyone reminding the Jews of their past sufferings.

    September 29, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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