News Column

Robert De Niro Joke Rubs Gingrich the Wrong Way

March 21, 2012

Republican contender for the Presidential nomination New Gingrich is taking bitter offense at a joke made by actor Robert De Niro. De Niro's joke, made at a fundraiser he hosted in New York for President Obama on Monday, preceded his introduction of First lady Michelle Obama.

"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now, do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?" De Niro quipped. De Niro's joke was an obvious play on the old idea that a country "may not be ready for a black president," which dogged President Obama's run to the white house. However, the remark sent both sides of the aisle scrambling.

According to reports, White House aides near immediately denounced the joke as inappropriate. De Niro himself apologized on Tuesday in a statement, saying "My remarks, although spoken with satirical jest, were not meant to offend or embarrass anyone--especially the First Lady."

Newt Gingrich, who's behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in terms of delegates, has railed strongly against De Niro's comment, and has tried to rope President Obama himself into the fray, demanding that the President apologize for the actor's comment and also dismissing De Niro as rich and out of touch.

Conservative flamethrower Ann Coulter is taking the actor's side, however, tweeting "Can we please stop the fake "offended" routine? Pls explain what was allegedly offensive about DeNiro's joke."

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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