January 10th, 2010
11:14 PM ET
12 years ago

Congressional Black Caucus backs Reid

(CNN) - As first reported Sunday evening by CNN Political Editor Mark Preston, the Congressional Black Caucus has accepted Sen. Harry Reid’s apology for remarks he made about President Obama's race and is dismissing calls for him to step down as majority leader.

See full statement below:

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Washington D.C. – Today Rep. Barbara Lee, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement in response to Republican demands that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid step down:

“I have had an opportunity to speak with Senator Reid and he apologized for his unfortunate remarks concerning the President and he understands the gravity of such remarks. There are too many issues like the economy, job creation and energy for these regrettable comments to distract us from the work that must be done on behalf of the American people.

“Over the years, I have had an opportunity to work with Majority Leader Reid.  Senator Reid’s record provides a stark contrast to actions of Republicans to block legislation that would benefit poor and minority communities – most recently reflected in Republican opposition to the Health Bill now under consideration.  I look forward to Senator Reid continuing to serve as Majority Leader to guide this important agenda through the Senate.

“The Congressional Black Caucus believes that thoughtful engagement and civil discourse on race is needed, as our first “Dialogue on Race” in November 2009 demonstrated.  There is a deep unease about race which cannot be swept under the rug.  I appreciate Senator Reid’s apology and look forward to our continuing work.”

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soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Carole

    I LOVE IT!!!!

    Maybe, just maybe the Republicans may one day figure IT out. Steele does not a Negro make.

    January 11, 2010 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  2. Flipper

    Wow! So if a conservative black can be labeled as an "Uncle Tom" b/c they're (wrongly) viewed as subserviant to white Republicans, then what the heck do you call black Dems who casually dismiss a racially insensitive comment made by the Senate Majority leader (besides engaging in political expediency)?

    January 11, 2010 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  3. Timothy

    When a Democrat says something racist, it's a "distraction," from the real issues, when a Republican says something racist, it's the only issue. A double standard for the double speakers.

    January 11, 2010 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  4. Brad

    There's a world of difference between what Harry Reid said and what Trent Lott said. Lott was praising a former segregationist (Strom Thurmond) who had fought fiercely against racial integration and said that the country would have been better off had it listened to Thurmond...or words to that effect. Reid, on the other hand, just said something that was insensitive and stupid.

    Reid's record is one of support for those political goals of various minority groups...not Lott's. Lott's record was one of resistance to those goals.

    Bottom line: Lott was pandering to bigots when he said what he said. Reid was not.

    For conservatives to try to equate the two just shows that they know nothing about the racial divide in this country...nor do they have any interest in that divide except to try to exploit it for political gain. They are just playing their usual divisive political games.

    January 11, 2010 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  5. J.V.Hodgson

    I do hate the media's ability and desire to make mountains out of molehills.
    It is frankly a disease of 24 hour news bulletins that sound bite anything. Often totally out of context.
    Breaking news is almost always broken because it gets dramatised for effect and often later proves much less significant than originally portrayed.
    One example (not CNN) but a distinguished professor thought it appropriate in writing to CRITICISE President Obama for referring to the Xmas bomber as the 'ALLEGED" bomber. Did he forget the maxim of innocent until proven guilty Military or Civil court.
    To me that is libellous, and I would sue him. This kind of heresy has to stop as well as the spoken ( uncorrected) slanders by many News agencies, who seem to think updates fix everything, they do not as it assumes the updates reaches all the original audience and thats not true as it was and is with newspapers, who print corrections to all regular readers.
    Its called integrity, a fundamental principle of good Journalism.

    January 11, 2010 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  6. Jerry from Indiana

    what a joke CNN to help the democrats again why to go all the most mistrusted news in the world.

    January 11, 2010 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  7. Paul F

    As long as he is carrying their water, it's ok to be sorta racist. Sure there's a double standard, both parties are filled with racists of all types and varieties.

    January 11, 2010 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  8. Jessie, MN

    I give Reid a pass because he's been in the rural area of Nevada most of his life. He really thought he was complimenting the president. So if he didn't know it was wrong then, he knows now.

    January 11, 2010 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  9. Robert - Palm Desert, CA

    Senator Reid spoke the truth. So did Joe Biden when he said during the primaries,
    "I mean...you got the first sort of mainstream...uh...black American guy...who is articulate, bright and...uh...clean...a nice looking guy...I mean...that's a story book..."

    Barack Obama was born to a Kenyan playboy and a young White American student. He grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, and raised by an Indonesian stepfather and White grandparents. He was not and is not a typical African American. The only part of him that has any connection to the real world black American community is - his wife.

    It is highly unlikely that a darker-skinned, culturally black American (that includes any member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Governor Patterson, or Governor Patrick), could have been elected President of the USA in 2008. The election of Barack Hussein Obama was one of the biggest - if not the biggest - flukes in American history.

    Those are the facts, and there's nothing racist about them.

    January 11, 2010 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  10. Steve

    But if a Republican made similar comments they would be calling for heads to roll. The CBC is a joke with no legitimacy.

    January 11, 2010 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  11. michael

    what a bunch of hypocrits!! if that had been a republican or independent who said that al sharpton and jessie jackson would be marching on washington demanding that the resign. the black caucus are nothing but a bunch of opportunists who use race whenever it benefits them. it's amazing that when it is a democrat who says these things, it's not such a big deal and all is forgiven. what a joke. sharpton, jackson and lee make me physically ill. they are the worst america has to offer and this country will be so much better when they are no longer in the public eye.

    January 11, 2010 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  12. stephensonbillings

    What wondrous hyporcrisy! These same elected hacks couldn't wait to call for Trent Lott's hanging for comments that were over a decade old. Now, they're claiming that democrat Reid is a decent, upstanding person to lead their party in Congress? Have they no shame? I would think the American people would find it repugnant to have this bigot hold any sort of elected office whatsoever. Sen. Reid should do the right thing and resign. He has disgraced himself and shown the undercurrent of selfishness and egotism in the Democrat Party. As a journalist who has watched politics for many, many years I must say this really takes the cake.

    January 11, 2010 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  13. dan smith

    Yeah and if a Republican made the same comment they'd be called a racist and forced to resign, can anyone say double standard.

    January 11, 2010 05:49 am at 5:49 am |

    The only problem I have with what I`ve heard from Senator Reid is the word "Negro". If he had said African-American (which I don`t like to be refered to as) or Black I would agree with him. I also think Senator Reid isn`t that good of a leader and Democrats aren`t that smart in general either. The Dems could easily throw recent stupid comments by the gop back at them instead of taking a beating like a boxer on the ropes then hoping the gop has mercy on them

    January 11, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
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