ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings pointed to Sarah Palin on Wednesday to rally Jews to Obama.
"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. "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, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, made his comments in Washington, D.C., while participating in a panel discussion sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Asked what the congressman meant, Hastings 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."
After saying that Palin "don’t care too much" about Jews and blacks, Hastings argued that African Americans and Jews should come together behind Obama because there are many issues on which they agree.
"Just like Jews, blacks care about affordable health care, energy independence, and the separation of church and state," said Hastings. "And just like blacks, Jews care about equal pay for equal work, investment in alternative energy, and a woman’s right to choose."
Asked about the Hastings criticism, Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said, "We’re taking a pass."
The Florida GOP responded to Wednesday’s panel discussion by calling on Obama to repudiate Hastings.
"Unless Senator Obama and the Florida Democrat Party believes that ‘anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks,’ both Obama and the FDP should immediately refute this ridiculous and divisive statement."
When contacted by ABC News on Thursday afternoon, the Obama campaign had no response to the Florida GOP.