January 11th, 2010
07:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Reid is 'a good man'

President Obama said Monday that Sen. Reid 'has always been on the right side of history.'
President Obama said Monday that Sen. Reid 'has always been on the right side of history.'

Washington (CNN) - In a sit-down interview at the White House with CNN Political Contributor Roland Martin, President Obama defended embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for describing Obama as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

"This is a good man who has always been on the right side of history," the president said in an interview taped Monday for TV One.

"For him to have used some inartful language in trying to praise me, and for people to try to make hay out of that, makes absolutely no sense," Obama said. "He's apologized, recognizing that he didn't use appropriate language. But there was nothing mean-spirited in what he had to say and he's always been on the right side of the issues."

Related: Under fire, Reid proud of supporting Obama

In the interview, Obama also described Reid as "a friend of mine" who has "been a stalwart champion of voting rights, civil rights."

The president's vote of confidence - in Monday's interview and in an official statement over the weekend - comes one week before Senate Democrats return to Capitol Hill to flesh out a final health care reform bill. Obama told Martin that Reid "is spending a lot of his political capital in the middle of an election year to provide health care to every American."

"That's going to have a great impact and African-Americans and Latinos around the country," Obama noted.

Related: Reid's political future up in the air after 'Negro' comment?

Martin taped the interview for an upcoming TV One broadcast entitled, "Living the Dream: An interview with President Barack Obama."


Filed under: Harry Reid • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    In the interview, Obama also described Reid as "a friend of mine" who has "been a stalwart champion of voting rights, civil rights."
    ______________________________________________________
    ...the right to tax, the right to spend, the right to dole out enormous pork to deserving Democratic politicians, the right of the far left...
    everything except the rights of the American taxpayer.

    January 11, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Chad

    If Obama had a darker shade of skin then I guess he would not be good enough according to Harry.

    January 11, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. lou

    Republicans make me sick....

    January 11, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. manny

    Papa Doc Barack himself is a racist. It is the pot calling the kettle, shall we say, caramel

    January 11, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Mr Joshua

    Face it a Racist is a Racist. Can anyone tell me what a Negro Dialect is? I never heard it. All my African American friends speak English. And I am a Conservative Just an FYI.

    January 11, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. JonDie

    It's understandable that the Republicans will do or say anything to destroy a Democrat.

    But it's really hurts our country when the media goes all out to destroy a person, who didn't really do anything wrong, so the media can make a buck.

    January 11, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. big papa

    If Dems want to end this DISTRACTION trumped up by confederate Repubs...

    ...to kill debate on healthcare reform...

    ...all they have to do is tell the corporate media mouthpieces...

    ...to compare Reid's voting record and policy advocacy...

    ...to Mitch McConnel's, Trent Lott's, or ANY of the conservative confederates...

    ...THEN we'll all see where Reid's (and the Dems') heart is, compared to theirs...

    ...End of story...

    January 11, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. hnic

    So I am a Dem and an Obama supporter, but if this were a Repub Senator, EVERYONE would be calling for a resignation. I think Reid should resign in good faith. Time for change.

    January 11, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. scott

    TOTAL and COMPLETE Hipocracy by the Dems!!

    January 11, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Obama mama

    No good man would allow such corruption and bribery in order to pass the useless, but uber-expensive healthcare takeover bill. (legislate behind closed doors)

    No good man would sell a healthcare bill to the public using faulty, deceiving numbers (less than a trillion).

    No good man would ignore over 60% of Americans that say that they don't want the bill passed.

    Reid is not a good man. Reid is not a good representative. Reid is not good for our country. Reid is bad.

    January 11, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. ib

    I'm sure there will be a bunch of people taking up for Reid but I wonder if he were a republican or conservative what you would be saying????

    January 11, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. sue s

    Obama is defending another democrat, plain and simple. The dems would have a Republican's head if they said those words. DC Double Standard.

    January 11, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    "For him to have used some inartful language in trying to praise me, and for people to try to make hay out of that, makes absolutely no sense," Obama said. "He's apologized, recognizing that he didn't use appropriate language. But there was nothing mean-spirited in what he had to say and he's always been on the right side of the issues."

    I don't know, but for anyone else to complain about the language, and the idea that President Obama was, or should have been offended is ridiculous after the above.

    "Nothing mean spirited." If the object of the supposed "offensive" language can see the intent, I'm sure that everyone else can, and for the few who cannot, let the President set the standard, after all, Reid WAS talking about him.

    January 11, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. rumrunner

    reid spoke the truth. why does that offend us so? nobody can say anything any more!

    January 11, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Michael from Ventura

    Yes he is(A good man). And he has worked very hard to get a Health Care reform bill passed. He and Nancy Pelosi are the brunt of many gop hate teams. It's astounding that people that can only say NO are such experts! They have no plans- they just spread fear and hate and hope America listens. I, for one, had too much of that during the Bush Administration. I chose HOPE.

    January 11, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. kate

    just one more shining example of President Obama's intellectual superiority and unparalled graciousness, truly a brilliant, brilliant
    individual.

    January 11, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  17. Bugl3t

    If President Obama isn't offended, then no one else has the right to be. Enough said.

    Besides, there's a huge difference discussing the pros and cons of someone's potential as a candidate and outright denigration of their race.

    Republicans are simply using this statement to pile on Reid because they have no other game plan... just like everything else they do.

    Get over it.

    January 11, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Dr.D

    Finally some common sense on this topic (it's a non-issue in my book). It is incredible how CNN has gone after this. Obama was the one being talked about in a good way. He wasn't offended. That's that.

    Your reporter Ed Hornick should be reprimanded for mischaracterizing of Mr. Ried's words and your editor has now been officially caught with ugly "spinsterism." Shame on you!

    January 11, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Immune to the Rhetoric

    It doesn't matter if he apologizes or "recognizes" that he didn't use appropriate language. Had this been a Republican, everyone would be pissed, as well they should be. Why should Sen. Reid be treated any differently?
    He is ever so subtly propagating racist ideas and feelings. This is the type of racism that is so much more present in society in place of blatant, aggressive racism. I think a man of Sen. Reid's position should be setting a better example.
    Shame on you Sen. Reid and shame on you President Obama for defending his comments.

    January 11, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. Dave, NE

    I wonder if Barack Obama is a good man? If the answer is no then both of them are bad. I mean bad for US politics.

    January 11, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. Helene

    A"good man"? A bloody, ignorant idiot, as far as I am concerned.

    January 11, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. The good people of Nevada don't think so.....

    and they know him best.....check the polls....37% approval rating for the jerk.

    January 11, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. The Divided States of America

    And people wonder why we're such a divided nation – and getting worse!

    If the democrats don't show some punishment for Reid then our divisions will run deeper.

    It's not about what's right or wrong any more. It's all about what the democrats say and do. Obviously, the liberal hypocrisy is now insurmountable.

    January 11, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. Ron

    Let's see... Obama pals with Chavez, Farrakhan, Rev. Wright, Tony Rezko... Yep! I would think he would consider Reid a good man.

    Hey Reid, did your Dad ever tell you that you are known by the company you keep?

    January 11, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Good for what?

    The people of Nevada don't think he's good for them....they're voting him OUT bigtime in November...........

    January 11, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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