Robert De Niro says `white first lady` comment not meant to offend

Washington: Robert De Niro has responded to criticism over the joke he made about America not being ready for a white first lady.

The actor made the crack at an Obama fundraiser on Monday, drawing a harsh rebuke from Newt Gingrich, who called it divisive and inexcusable.

However, De Niro said that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

“My remarks, although spoken with satirical jest, were not meant to offend or embarrass anyone - especially the First Lady,” Politico quoted him as telling Talking Points Memo in a statement.

His response came after an aide for Michelle Obama weighed in, calling the joke inappropriate.