Harry Reid Apologizes For Offensive Comments About Asians

Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate majority leader, has apologized for comments he made in speech to the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Reid told the audience at a local hotel/casino that “The Asian population is so productive. I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are.” In a follow-up “joke,” Reid said “One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.” See embed below.

After these remarks about Asian Americans went public, Reid subsequently issued a statement to The Hill and other media outlets admitting that “My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing.”

At the event, the influential, nonpartisan Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce decided to back the Republican lieutenant governor candidate over the Reid-endorsed Democrat after the senator spoke to the group.

The Koch Brothers-obsessed majority leader, who has a history of making wild accusations against Republicans such as Mitt Romney not paying pay taxes, is a big foe of money in politics, unless the money comes from liberal billionaires such as George Soros, Tom Steyer, or Michael Bloomberg. These three among others with deep pockets are funding Democrat candidates across the country in this election season.

Reid also has a history of racially charged comments or playing the race card such as claiming he didn’t understand how a Hispanic could be a Republican even though the GOP governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, is of Hispanic heritage, and defeated Reid’s son for the job in 2010. Sandoval is cruising to reelection this year, and the only question appears to be the extent of his coattails for the lieutenant governor and other statewide GOP candidates. The Hill also pointed that Reid had to apologize directly to Barack Obama for comments contained the book Game Change that “quoted Reid saying privately that Obama’s ‘light-skinned’ appearance and the fact that he had ‘no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one’ helped him as a candidate.”

According to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders, “Republican Sarah Palin’s many ill-considered words define her in Washington. But Democrat Reid gets gaffe immunity. He just keeps running off at the mouth and then apologizing, but he never really has to worry about paying a heavy political price. He’s a ruthless politician, yet Washington treats him as if he were this regular guy — but with a tact problem.”

In a related matter, Kentucky Democrats on two occasions engaged in race-baiting about Elaine Chao, the wife of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. Chao, who is of Chinese heritage, is the distinguished former U.S. Secretary of Labor in the George W. Bush administration.