Reid cracks Asian jokes, apologizes
August 22nd, 2014
12:14 PM ET
4 months ago

Reid cracks Asian jokes, apologizes

Washington (CNN) – Harry Reid, who faulted his 2010 Republican opponent for making an insensitive remark to Asian-Americans, cracked two Asian-themed jokes at a Las Vegas event Thursday.

"I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are," the Senate Majority Leader said to laughs from the audience at a Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce event.

Later in the video, which was sent to reporters by the Republican research group America Rising, Reid said, "One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight."

Reid issued an apology for his remarks on Friday, releasing a statement that said, "My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing."

Back in 2010, Reid and his campaign pounced on a racially insensitive remarks that Sharon Angle, his Republican opponent, made about Asians.

Angle told a room full of Hispanic school children that "some of you look a little more Asian to me."

The comment, which came in response to a student who asked Angle why all her commercials portrayed illegal immigrants as Latino, helped to define the race and Angle's dismal campaign.

At events after Angle’s remark, Reid joked about the remarks while painting Angle as out of touch, undisciplined and extreme.

"As I look out over this crowd, I really don't know what my opponent was talking about," Reid told an audience. "Because you all look like Nevadans to me."

Reid went on to defeat Angle in the November general election and maintain his perch atop the Senate.

The Asian community in Nevada has been rapidly growing and is expanding its political clout in the swing state.


Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Reid issued an apology for his remarks on Friday, releasing a statement that said, "My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing."

    Yeah. I agree.

    August 22, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Chris..E.Al

    This man should get on his hub around and go play in the sand and do us all a fav .

    August 22, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. O'drama ya Mama

    Probably not the smartest thing to say. Politicians on both sides of the isle these days tend to make a lot of apologies for the slip of the tongue. Not that I'm Asian or personally offended by it, which im not, but I can accept apologies as long as there are no repeat incidents.

    August 22, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    .....and I can see the radical right spinning this into the equivalent of the continual and widespread systematic bigotry on the right, typified by a wide range of Sharon Angle racist and pro-violence quotes.

    August 22, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. rick

    Bet that John McCains are a lot more off color.. But people are so tired of him hes ignored anyway..

    August 22, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Well, that was dumb. At least he actually gave a real apology instead of saying that he was sorry you misunderstood him.

    August 22, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. smith

    Dumb Harry goes around playing the race card every chance he gets and now he gets burned making stupid remarks. I hope some folks really take a look at who your putting your faith in when that person is making accusations of racial bigotry.

    August 22, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Tony D

    Yup, Biden makes jokes about Indians and Pakistanis and Reid about Asians and all is just fine and dandy. No calls of racist, no demands for resignation, all just a big mistake, move along. Double standard and hypocrisy along with the cooperation of the left wing press to bury it. Nothing really new here. Just the usual racist Democrats getting away with their racist comments.

    August 22, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Chris..E.Al says:
    August 22, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm
    This man should get on his hub around and go play in the sand and do us all a fav .

    There goes that AL education system again.... It's called a Hoveround.

    August 22, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. freedom

    Racist!

    August 22, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Reid is a pitiful excuse for a Congressional leader. Just pitiful.

    August 22, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Dean

    "An Asian, a black, and a Jew walk into a bar...".

    August 22, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Yup, Biden makes jokes about Indians and Pakistanis and Reid about Asians and all is just fine and dandy. No calls of racist, no demands for resignation, all just a big mistake, move along"

    Considering he was in front of he Asian Congressional Caucus and they laughed at the joke, I think most reasonable people could agree this was, at most, a minor incident. Would you like a valium to help you calm down over it so you can think straight?

    "Double standard and hypocrisy along with the cooperation of the left wing press to bury it."

    Yeah, nothing says "burying it" like a big article right on the top of the Ticker.

    August 22, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    All is forgiven, Harry... you're a democrat!!

    August 22, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Reid issued an apology for his remarks on Friday, releasing a statement that said, "My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing."
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Okay, apology accepted BUT I must say that I don't make those kinds of slips, and when others do it sends up a flag.

    August 22, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Considering he was in front of he Asian Congressional Caucus"

    Excuse me, correction: Asian Chamber of Commerce.

    August 22, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Say WHAT???

    OK so let me summarize....

    We have Barack Obama, Democrat President that was voted Liar of the Year and Worse President Since WWII. A total failure on every front, domestically and internationally.

    We have Joe Biden, Democrat Vice-President that racially slurs Indians & Pakistanis and tells people to go and shoot shotguns off their balcony, not to mention all the other nutty things he has said.

    We have Harry Reid, Democrat Majority Leader of the Senate that racially slurs Asians and regularly spews lies and vitriol about other Americans and attacks them on the floor of the Senate.

    We have Nancy Pelsosi, Democrat Minority Leader of the House that tells the American people they'll just have to wait until the Obamacare bill is passed before we can see what is in it. (100% garbage filled)

    And we wonder why this country is a disaster after years and years of these people in control. WAKE UP America!!!

    August 22, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. riff raff

    He should have doubled down, and finished deans joke. I like walked into a bar jokes.

    August 22, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    smith

    Dumb Harry goes around playing the race card every chance he gets and now he gets burned making stupid remarks. I hope some folks really take a look at who your putting your faith in when that person is making accusations of racial bigotry.
    -----------------------
    Can you give us an example of Harry Reid playing the race card? Because you're playing it right now.

    ================================================================

    Fair is Fair

    All is forgiven, Harry... you're a democrat!!
    ---------------------------
    Of course. He gave an unqualified apology. He didn't try to qualify it like conservatives always do with a "to anyone who was offended". They do that because they still don't find remarks offensive. In fact, you're lucky to get that much.

    August 22, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. just saying

    sorry, it's right there in the definition of racism. democrats can't be called racists because they have the support of minorities. however, they are allowed to call everybody else a racist, especially if they use such racist words as urban, thug, food stamp president, etc.

    are we all on the same page now?

    August 22, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Had this been any republican making these jokes, the media would have been calling for his head. But when it's one of their fellow democrats, a simple apology and all is well. Hypocrites, and the worst part is they don't even try to hide it.

    August 22, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. tom l

    "Can you give us an example of Harry Reid playing the race card?"
    --–

    Really? Did you read the article where it talks about how he did just that with Sharon Angle? But I guess that wasn't really playing the race card, he was just being factual. Right Rudy?

    August 22, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. just asking

    at this point shouldn't the american demand that the entire democrat leadership be evaluated psychologically? obama is a pathological lair and biden, reid and pelosi say things than sane people just don't say. i think they have been making and drinking their koolaide using tainted water from china.

    August 22, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Say WHAT???

    OK so let me summarize....

    We have Barack Obama, Democrat President that was voted Liar of the Year and Worse President Since WWII. A total failure on every front, domestically and internationally.
    ----------------------------------–
    You forgot that fact that most Americans feel that Republicans still cannot field someone who's better, only worse.

    August 22, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    In Senator Reid's defense.... He did say it in front of the Asians and not behind their backs. Take a chill pill people, it was a joke. If I got offended at every black joke I'd be offended all the time. People make them all the time.

    August 22, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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