Washington — Republicans on Sunday accused Democrats of a double standard by accepting Sen. Harry Reid’s apology for racial remarks about Barack Obama instead of demanding Reid’s ouster as majority leader.
In a private conversation reported in a new book, Reid described Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign as a “light-skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
Reid, D-Nev., apologized to Obama on Saturday, and the president issued a statement accepting the apology and saying the matter was closed.
GOP Chairman Michael Steele, in appearances on two Sunday news programs, compared Reid’s predicament with the circumstances that led Senate Republican leader Trent Lott to step down from that post in 2002. Lott had spoken favorably of the 1948 segregationist presidential campaign of Strom Thurmond, and in spite of apologies for those remarks at Thurmond’s 100th birthday, Lott was forced out as leader.