Harry Reid ‘Hopes’ GOP Hatred Of Obama Isn’t Racism, Is Criticized By Sole Black Senator

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he “hopes” GOP obstructionism isn’t rooted in racism against President Obama on Friday and earned a lot of criticism, particularly from Tim Scott, the sole African-American member of the Senate.

Appearing on radio station KNPR, Reid continued his years-long criticism of Republican obstruction in Congress, and shared his opinion on whether conservatives have been hoping that President Obama will be a failure in his second term.

In response to a caller’s question, Reid pointed to Mitch McConnell’s pledge that Obama would be a one-term president, and said that Republicans oppose everything that the president does.

“I hope that it’s based on substance, not the fact that he’s an African-American,” Reid said.

Reid was quickly condemned for this sentiment, with a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee calling his comment “offensive and insane.”

But interestingly, the comment received the harshest criticism from Scott, who, in addition to being a Republican, is also the only African-American member of the Senate.

He said:

“I am sincerely disappointed by continued attempts to divide the American people by playing to the lowest common denominator. Instead of engaging in serious debate about the failed policies of this administration – from the ever-increasing burdens created by the national health care reform plan to the tax and spend approach to economic recovery, along with countless others – Democrats are once again trying to hide behind a smokescreen.

“Our country deserves more from those in Washington. I hope Senator Reid will realize the offensive nature of his remarks and apologize to those who disagree with the President’s policies because of one thing – they are hurting hardworking American families.”

You can listen to Harry Reid’s remarks below, via Mediaite. What do you think? Is GOP obstructionism a matter of policy, or racism?