Video: Gingrich calls for De Niro apology over 'white first lady' joke

Seth Perlman/AP

SHREVEPORT, La. – Newt Gingrich on Tuesday called on President Obama to apologize for comments Robert De Niro made on Monday night at a Manhattan fundraiser attended by Michelle Obama, when the movie star quipped that it was too soon for the country to return a “white first lady” to the White House.

De Niro, who was hosting the fundraiser at a restaurant he owns, warmed up the crowd of about 85 with a joke. "Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?" he asked. After the audience responded negatively, De Niro asked, "Too soon, right?"

Gingrich on Tuesday was the first presidential candidate to seize on the comments, and opened his first campaign stop at a café in Shreveport by calling the remarks inexcusable.

“It divides the country,” he said, “and if people on the left want to talk about radio talk-show hosts, then everybody in the country ought to hold the president accountable when somebody at his event says something as utterly, totally unacceptable as Robert De Niro said last night and I call on the president to apologize for him.”

Gingrich went on to say that while he would prefer that his wife, Callista, be the next first lady, he would also be “very proud and very honored to have Ann Romney as the first lady or Karen Santorum as the first lady.”

Watch:

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.