March 22nd, 2012 by faye
Actor Robert De Niro is currently under fire due to his race-related joke during a fundraiser which featured first lady Michelle Obama as guest. Obama’s camp branded the joke as “inappropriate.”
According to reports, the fundraiser was opened by Robert De Niro starring Michelle Obama. De Niro listed Obama’s Republican rivals and jokingly suggested that America isn’t “ready for a white first lady.” Newt Gingrich was not amused, and so was Michelle Obama’s camp. On Tuesday, Gingrich said that the comment of Robert De Niro as “inexcusable” and demanded an apology from President Barack Obama.
“I think that Robert De Niro’s wrong,” Gingrich said at a campaign stop in Shreveport. “The country is ready for a new first lady, and he doesn’t have to describe it in racial terms.”
Gingrich added that the president should be held accountable “when someone at his event says something as utterly and totally unacceptable as Robert De Niro said last night. And I call on the president to apologize for him.”
Obama didn’t apologize, but his campaign didn’t stand by the actor’s sense of humor, either.
“We believe the joke was inappropriate,” said the campaign press secretary of Michelle Obama, Olivia Alair. She declined further comment.
Robert De Niro and his wife, Grace Hightower, were the hosts of the New York fundraiser Monday night. The star of “Taxi Driver,” opened the evening’s remarks by listing the wives of Republicans running for president.
“Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney,” he said. “Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?”
The crowd of big time donors waiting to hear from the Michelle Obama roared in approval, and De Niro finished, “Too soon, right?”
Publicist Stan Rosenfield said De Niro wouldn’t respond to the criticism. “It was obvious satire,” Rosenfield said in an email.