Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings told a Washington, D.C., gathering of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is a gun-toting, moose-stripping conservative who doesn’t care about Jews or 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," said Hastings, a Democrat. "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, a liberal member of the Congressional Black Caucus, made his comments while participating in a panel discussion sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council. A former federal judge, Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury by the Democratic-controlled House in 1988, and then convicted by the U.S. Senate a year later. He wasn’t restricted from seeking federal office, however, and was elected to his current seat in 1992.
Asked to decipher Hastings’ message, spokesman David Goldenberg told ABC News that he was trying to argue that Palin is an "extremely conservative woman who is out of touch with mainstream America."
Hastings argued that blacks and Jews should come together behind Obama because they agree on many issues.
"Just like Jews, blacks care about affordable healthcare, energy independence, and the separation of church and state," Hastings said. "And just like blacks, Jews care about equal pay for equal work, investment in alternative energy, and a woman's right to choose."
Asked for a response, Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said, "We’re taking a pass." But Florida GOP chief Jim Greer didn’t take a pass.
"Alcee Hastings managed to attack sportsmen, African-Americans, and the Jewish community in one sentence," Greer said in a statement Thursday.
"By claiming that Governor Palin and those Americans who choose to bear arms do not care about the Jewish and African-American citizens of our country, Hastings is viciously throwing the worst kind of stereotypes at the wall and hoping one of them sticks.”
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