Obama campaign denounces De Niro joke

The Obama campaign is speaking out against a joke made by Robert De Niro at a fundraiser featuring Michelle Obama.

The Obama campaign is speaking out against a joke made by Robert De Niro at a fundraiser featuring first lady Michelle Obama.

During the event, he listed the other potential first ladies in the presidential race and then joked America isn't "ready for a white first lady."

The incident angered Newt Gingrich, who said it was "inexcusable" and demanded an apology from President Barack Obama himself.

"I think that Robert De Niro's wrong," Gingrich said during a campaign stop in Shreveport, La. "The country is ready for a new first lady, and he doesn't have to describe it in racial terms."

Mrs. Obama's press secretary, Olivia Alair said “the joke was inappropriate." De Niro quickly apologized for the comment.

The incident comes shortly after the Obama campaign reported it had $85 million in cash reserves by the end of last month, according to campaign finance reports released March 20.  

A good share of the money has come from celebrities, as well as small donors. Obama's reserves equal more than six times the amount of money that all of the GOP contenders have stored away, but Republican super PACs are expected to make up for any shortfall their eventual nominee may face after a long primary season.

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