Page last updated at 00:21 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

White House calls Robertson's Haiti comment 'stupid'

Pat Robertson (file image)
Mr Robertson made the comments on his programme

The White House has dismissed as "stupid" comments by evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson suggesting that quake-struck Haiti was cursed.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said he was amazed by the remarks.

During a broadcast on his Christian Broadcasting Network, Mr Robertson suggested the Haiti's earthquake was divine retribution.

He said Haiti had sworn a pact with the devil when it freed itself from French colonial rule.

The White House said the comments were completely inappropriate.

"It never ceases to amaze, that in times of amazing human suffering, somebody says something that could be so utterly stupid," Mr Gibbs said.

"But it, like clockwork, happens with some regularity."

Mr Robertson, an 80-year-old former presidential candidate, made the comments on Wednesday on his programme, "The 700 Club".

"They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal," the televangelist said during the broadcast.

"Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other," he added, comparing Haiti to its more prosperous neighbour, the Dominican Republic.

In a statement on his network's website, spokesman Chris Roslan said Mr Robertson never said the earthquake - which is feared to have left tens of thousands dead - was God's wrath.

He added: "History, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed".

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