GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich blasted actor Robert De Niro’s racially tinged comments today, and questioned whether the two-time Oscar winner is out of touch with the economic concerns of average Americans. De Niro questioned whether Americans are ready for a “white first lady”:
“I do want to say one thing, both on behalf of my wife and on behalf of Karen Santorum and on behalf of Ann Romney, I think that Robert De Niro’s wrong,” Gingrich said. “I think the country is ready for a new first lady and he doesn’t have to describe it in racial terms.”
Gingrich immediately clarified he thought Michelle Obama, along with the wives of his fellow GOP presidential candidates, were all “fine ladies.”
“But this is not about the first lady,” Gingrich continued. “It’s about the president. That’s where De Niro missed the whole point. De Niro is rich enough he probably doesn’t notice the price of gasoline. He’s successful enough he probably doesn’t notice the unemployment rate. As the Hollywood actor, he might well be shortsighted enough he doesn’t understand what it might do to our children and our grandchildren.”
Gingrich called on Obama to apologize for the remarks, since they were made at an event raising money for his reelection.
De Niro’s comments mark the second time in a week that an Obama fundraiser has created controversy. During one of five fundraisers on Friday, singer Cee Lo Green launched into a profane song that included the F-bomb and a use of his middle finger. President Obama, who has recently called for more civility in our public discourse and was present at the Friday fundraiser, has not weighed in on either Green’s performance or De Niro’s racial comments.