Obama campaign walks back De Niro’s ‘white first lady’ fundraising joke

The Obama campaign on Tuesday walked back comments made by actor Robert De Niro Monday night at a Tribeca fundraiser headlined by first lady Michelle Obama.

“We believe the joke was inappropriate,” said Olivia Alair, a campaign spokeswoman for the first lady, in a statement.

While introducing the first lady to the crowd of 85 high-profile guests, De Niro questioned whether America was ready for another white first lady.

“Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” De Niro asked the crowd.

The crowd collectively answered “no!”

CNN reports that at a campaign stop Tuesday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on Obama to apologize for the comments.

“What De Niro said last night was inexcusable and the president should apologize for him. It was at an Obama fundraiser, it is exactly wrong, it divides the country,” he said. (SEE ALSO: Callista Gingrich is the most disliked potential first lady, poll finds)

“If people on the left want to talk about talk show hosts, then everybody in the country should hold the president accountable when someone at his event says something that is utterly and terrible unacceptable as what Robert De Niro said,” Gingrich added.

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