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White House criticizes evangelist's Haiti remark

FILE - In a Nov. 7, 2007 file photo, Pat Robertson endorses Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani during a news conference in Washington. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, a day after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, Robertson said that Haiti has been 'cursed' because of what he called a 'pact with the devil' in its history. His spokesman said the comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791. FILE - In a Nov. 7, 2007 file photo, Pat Robertson endorses Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani during a news conference in Washington. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, a day after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, Robertson said that Haiti has been "cursed" because of what he called a "pact with the devil" in its history. His spokesman said the comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)
January 14, 2010

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.—A White House spokesman on Thursday slammed evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson's remark that Haiti has been cursed.

A devastating magnitude-7 earthquake hit there Tuesday.

"It never ceases to amaze me that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that can be so utterly stupid," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

The day after the earthquake, Robertson said Haiti has been "cursed" because of what he called a "pact with the devil" in its history. His spokesman said the comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791.

Spokesman Chris Roslan says Robertson never said the earthquake was God's wrath.

Earlier, senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Robertson's statement left her speechless. She called it "a pretty stunning comment to make" and said it doesn't express the spirit of the American people or the president.