Reid Apologizes For 'Negro dialect' Comment; Reid apologized Saturday for remarks he made about then-candidate Barack Obama.
Washington (CNN) - 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 to CNN.
Holy Crappydoo. Are you kidding me?? One thing with which I can agree, this was certainly a "poor choice of words." That is putting it mildly. You know there are more words to come to explain this away:
(Update 4:00 pm: Reid spokesman Jim Manley tells CNN that the senator also called President Obama Saturday afternoon to apologize for his remark. 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.
“I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama’s legislative agenda.”
Reid also pointed to his efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry, among other legislation favored by African-American voters: “I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community.”
The Nevada Democrat – who waited to formally endorsed Obama until after the conclusion of the tough presidential primary battle in 2008 - is facing an uphill re-election fight this year in his home state. (CNN Political Producer Rebecca Sinderbrand contributed to this report.)
By all means, check out the Comments at this piece, too. The people there are playing a game of Twister to try and claim why these comments were not the LEAST bit racist, and only Republicans would see it that way. Riigggghhhttt. And speaking of:
Update: Republicans called on Democratic lawmakers and candidates Saturday to condemn Reid's original remarks. “For those who hope to one day live in a color-blind nation it appears Harry Reid is more than a few steps behind them," National Republican Senatorial Committee communication director Brian Walsh said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long history of embarrassing and controversial remarks by the senior Senator from Nevada. He always shares exactly what’s on his mind with little regard to perception or consequences, and it’s one of the reasons he is the most vulnerable incumbent Senator in either party facing re-election.
“Nevada deserves better from its leaders and this November, voters in the Silver State will have an opportunity to elect a new Senator who will put their views and values first and foremost. In the meantime, we hope Reid’s fellow Democrats in the Senate and on the campaign trail will stand up and rightly condemn these racially insensitive remarks by their elected leader.”
As indicated above, Harry Reid is already facing a hard row to hoe to win back his position. His poll numbers were already tanking in Nevada BEFORE this little Newsflash came out. Sure will be interesting to see how this plays out for him in the next few months...
I might add, how lovely of Obama to be so magnanimous and excuse these comments from Reid, asserting that what is in Reid's heart was not reflected in Reid's words. Uh, yeah. Sure. It's a shame that assertion was not extended to those of us who never not even spoke words like this, but never had them in our hearts, either, yet when did not support Obama, were being painted with that broad brushstroke of racism.
Or that this dismissal of such a charge was not extended to the Clintons, who also never said anything remotely like Reid's comments, but who were labeled as racists by Obama for simply stating facts. That's some crystal ball Obama has to be able to tell the difference between what is in one's heart and what actually comes out of one's mouth.
As for Reid, he does not need a crystal ball to see into his future. His constituents are going to let him know soon enough what his future holds. These kinds of statements from him might just make the message that much clearer.
So, what do you think? Racist comments, or much ado about nothing?
UPDATE: Now it is coming out that Bill Clinton allegedly said that "a few years ago, he would be getting us coffee" speaking about Obama to Ted Kennedy when trying to get Kennedy's support. Now, IF Bill Clinton said this, I take that to mean Obama would have been a staffer given his lack of experience, not anything more nefarious than that. In light of Reid's comments, however, I have no doubt that is how people are construing it.
One person made a negative comment about Bill Clinton at the above referenced article, to which someone else made this very good reply:
Bulls***! Clinton has a long history of being pro civil rights. This is another smear the Clintons hit job by the Obama or Kennedy sychophants. Everyone knows Kennedy had a meltdown after Hillary credited Johnson rather than JFK (and rightly so) in the passing of the Civil Rights Act when discussing MLK jr. The following day Ted and Caroline endorsed Obama. People need to do their history on both the Clintons and the Kennedys. The Clintons have always been on the side of AA's in the struggle for equal rights. Where were the Kennedys? Before Bobby convinced JFK to support civil rights in his campaign platform JFK did'nt give a rat's *** about black people. How conveniently people forget or whitewash JFK voting AGAINST civil rights in 1957 when he was the Senator for Massachussetts ...a mere 3 years before running for POTUS! Or even Bobby ordering the FBI to wiretap MLK. Or Papa Joe Kennedy's pro Nazi sympathies?! The Kennedys are the biggest hypocrites ever especially that boozer Ted who could'nt tolerate the idea that there might be two Clintons making it to the White House and only one Kennedy. Oh no, That family has long believed that the Democratic Party was actually their personal fiefdom and damn if the Clintons were going to be the new royalty! This is a whopper of a LIE and even the most rabid Clinton hater can smell the stench of this caca! Posted By: True Democrat
Someone else commented that Kennedy couldn't stand the thought of a woman president, which would not surprise me at ALL. That seems far more likely to me.
In any event, I wanted to include this since I had made mention of the charges of racism against the Clintons above.