By Linda Feldmann, Staff writer / March 20, 2012 http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politi...ro-joke-Too-soon-for-another-white-first-lady Actor Robert De Niro has just reinforced one of the truisms of a presidential campaign involving an African-American candidate: Just about any reference to race raises hackles. Mr. De Niro hosted a fundraiser for President Obama with first lady Michelle Obama on Monday night in New York, and he kicked off his remarks with this quip: "Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?" According to the pool report, the crowd roared and someone yelled "no!" as De Niro asked, "Too soon, right?" Newt Gingrich didnât appreciate the irony. The presidential contender and former House speaker called the comment âinexcusableâ and demanded an apology from Mr. Obama, according to the Associated Press. "I think that Robert De Niro's wrong," Mr. Gingrich said at a campaign stop in Shreveport, La., the AP reported. "The country is ready for a new first lady, and he doesn't have to describe it in racial terms."