Former DNC Chair Under Fire For "God Is On Our Side" Gaffe

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A former Democratic National Committee chairman apologized Sunday for suggesting that Hurricane Gustav's expected arrival as Republicans prepare to open their national convention is a sign God favors Democrats.

During a flight from Denver to North Carolina last Friday, Don Fowler - who was DNC chair in 1995 and 1996 - was recorded telling a fellow passenger that it appears Gustav will make landfall on Monday.

"That just demonstrates that God is on our side," Fowler added, according to a video posted on YouTube under the headline: "Fowler Fouls: Hurricane is God's Favor To Democrats."

The person who recorded the conversation is not identified. The person whom Fowler was talking to is not visible in the video, but was identified on the conservative Web site as Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C.

On Sunday, Fowler told The Associated Press that he was making fun of comments made by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said the attacks were God's punishment for abortion, homosexuality and other sins.

"This is a point of national concern. I think everybody of good will has great empathy and sympathy for people in New Orleans," Fowler said. "Most religious people are praying for people in New Orleans. There is no political connotation to this whatsoever. This was just poking fun at Jerry Falwell and the nonsensical thing he had said several years ago."

Fowler said if anyone was offended, he apologized.

"I don't believe in a God that's vengeful. I believe in a God that's compassionate," he said.

South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson called Don Fowler's comments "disappointing and despicable."

"A storm is not a partisan event and that is what they've done. I am outraged," Dawson said, speaking by telephone from St. Paul, Minn., where the Republican National Convention is scheduled to start Monday, but may be altered because of concern over Gustav.

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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 2, 2008 at 06:58 AM
    Yes, I guess god shifted the storm and spared New Orleans. Guess god favors Republicans. Isn't Palin awesome? Liberals will not like her because she represents everything they are not. Honesty, integrity and loves America. She really caught them off guard and off balance to their scheme of sneaking a snake into the whitehouse....
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Sep 1, 2008 at 08:39 PM
    I think that's true of all self proclaimed atheists. As soon as they get into a real life and death situation....OH God, Help! They aren't really atheists.
  • by jesse Location: Greenville on Sep 1, 2008 at 02:03 PM
    Hey Rob I had a friend who was Atheist just like you until he went through a tragic experience in Iraq, he had is arm and leg blown off by a IED. I asked him what went through his head when it occurred and he said he thought: God please help me! Rob I think your just confused like he WAS.
  • by Mike Location: Edenton on Sep 1, 2008 at 02:39 AM
    To Rob: Have a nice afterlife!
  • by Rob Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 09:23 PM
    Again, I'm glad I am an atheist.
  • by ??? Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 06:33 PM
    Yeah, Im sure God is real pleased with the Democrats since most of them are pro gay, pro abortion liberals.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Aug 31, 2008 at 05:43 PM
    One thing is for certain, if God were to choose sides in this election, it surely would not be on the side of the left wing secular progressive liberal wack jobs that turn there nose up at God with every breath they take. God does not appreciate being removed from our schools, does not approve of a woman's 'right to choose', and surely does not approve of you attempting to remove him from a host of other domains. So if you libs think God is on your side............THINK AGAIN.
  • by Steve Location: Kinston on Aug 31, 2008 at 04:57 PM
    Give the guy a break. God might have planned it so that Bush could not attend the Convention and therefore the Repubs would not have to worry about the Democrats using Bush as a bashing tool against McCain. Come on politicians, cut the politically correct crap and let us argue the points on their merits.
  • by elephant man on Aug 31, 2008 at 04:50 PM
    Just like a democrat to say something like this. Just another way to show how democrats make stupid decisions.
  • by Blog Refuter Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 04:17 PM
    We have plans, but then there are God's plans. He is the best planner.

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