Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Saturday following reports he had privately described then-candidate Barack Obama during the presidential campaign as a black candidate who could be successful thanks in part to his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported the remarks in their new book “Game Change,” which was purchased by CNN Saturday at a Washington-area bookstore. The book is slated for official release next Tuesday.
“He (Reid) was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama – a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama’s race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination,” they write.
“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words,” Reid said in a statement.
In a statement released by the White House, the president accepted Reid’s apology: “Harry Reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported today. I accepted Harry’s apology without question because I’ve known him for years, I’ve seen the passionate leadership he’s shown on issues of social justice and I know what’s in his heart. As far as I am concerned, the book is closed.”)
In his Saturday statement, Reid said he apologized “for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments.
How is this for taking a step forwards in Ameriocan culture. For showing himself to be stupid and ignorant, how about we take this old coot and remove him from his position. Asking politicians to be respectful is clearly not working, when they think they can shoot from the lip and say whatever the hell they want and then apologize. I, if American, would not want this guy representing me. Who does he think he is?
As for the President… By taking the high road and time and time again sluffing off thes racially motivated prejudicial attacks he is showing to be a tue legend in this time. The legend of Barack grows each and every time he reacts the way he did. A true role model…
John McCain, The GOP’s 2008 presidential candidate decried Tuesday what he called a “stunning double standard” between the treatment of a top Democrat and Republican leader caught making racially insensitive remarks.
Senator McCain ripped the decision among most leading Democrats largely to dismiss the recent revelation that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said in 2008 that Barack Obama could succeed as a black presidential candidate partly because of his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
Reid has apologized to the president, and Obama said he considers the issue closed. Reid noted that numerous prominent African-American officials, including NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and Attorney General Eric Holder, have called him to offer their support.
GOP critics have noted that former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, lost his post as Senate majority leader in 2002 after saying that the nation would have been better off if Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948 when he ran on a pro-segregation platform as a Dixiecrat.
There has been a “stunning double standard as far as the treatment of Sen. Lott, who also made unfortunate and inopportune remarks, and the treatment of Harry Reid by the liberal left,” said McCain.
Two leading Republicans have called for Reid to resign as majority leader: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee. McCain, however, did not say Reid should step down.
They should be ashamed…