Florida’s Black Congressman Offers Apology For Swipe at Palin

Florida’s Black Congressman Offers Apology For Swipe at Palin  According to reports by ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Rigel Anderson, Florida’s African-American Democratic Congressman, Alcee Hastings, offered an apology for his comment that “gun toting” Sarah Palin “don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.” However, he still maintained the sentiment behind his remark - that the policies and priorities of a McCain-Palin administration would be “anathema to most African-Americans and Jews.”

On being questioned about what Hastings’ comment meant, his spokesman, David Goldenberg, told ABC News that Hastings was trying to argue that Palin is an “extremely conservative woman who is out of touch with mainstream America.”

After saying that Palin “don’t care too much” about Jews and blacks, Hastings had argued at the National Jewish Democratic Council event that African-Americans and Jews should come together in support of Obama because there are many issues on which they agree.  

Hastings said: “Just like Jews, blacks care about affordable health care, energy independence, and the separation of church and state. And just like blacks, Jews care about equal pay for equal work, investment in alternative energy, and a woman’s right to choose.”

Hastings’ comments about Palin drew an immediate response from the Republican Jewish Coalition. Matt Brooks, the group’s Executive Director, said in a statement that Hastings “stooped to the worst kind of divisive politics.” He added: “There should be no place in our country for this sort of political discourse. We can constructively disagree on the issues without denigrating others.”

In a statement of apology, Hastings said: “I regret the comments I made last Tuesday that were not smart and certainly not relevant to hunters or sportsmen. 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.”

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