Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) apologized today for referring to President Barack Obama as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect" in private conversations during the 2008 presidential campaign.
President Obama said in a statement that he and Reid had spoken about the matter on Saturday afternoon. "I accepted Harry's apology without question because I've known him for years, I've seen the passionate leadership he's shown on issues of social justice and I know what's in his heart," said Obama. "As far as I am concerned, the book is closed."
On Dec. 12, 2002, Obama, then serving as an Illinois state senator and filling in as host of the Cliff Kelley radio show on WVON, challenged the Republican Party to demand Lott's resignation."The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party."
Gore: Lott should apologize for his comments or face censure by the Senate.
Gore offered no criticism of Thurmond, saying the retiring senator has since "repudiated" those views. But he said Lott's remarks were "divisive" and fit the "definition of a racist comment."
"To say that the problems that we have in America today, some of them, stem from not electing a segregationist candidate for president ... is fundamentally racist," Gore said.
Asked if he believes Lott is a racist, Gore said, "Trent Lott made a statement that I think is a racist statement, yes. That's why I think he should withdraw those comments or I think the United States Senate should undertake a censure of those comments.
"It is not a small thing ... for one of the half dozen most prominent political leaders in America to say that our problems are caused by integration and that we should have had a segregationist candidate. That is divisive and it is divisive along racial lines. That's the definition of a racist comment," Gore said.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2002 agreed with former Sen. Trent Lott's (R-Miss.) decision to resign his leadership role after Lott made what some felt were racist remarks at former Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party.
"He had no alternative," said Reid at the time claiming, "If you tell ethnic jokes in the backroom, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play."
As liberal media members work overtime to spin racist comments Reid made about presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, it's going to be very interesting to see how many recall Lott's resignation or what Reid said about the incident.
Asked if the episode would serve as a warning to weigh his own words carefully, Reid said: "You play how you practice."
"If you tell ethnic jokes in the backroom, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play."
So Reid has always practiced as he's played?
Well, then maybe media members who hounded Lott until he resigned his leadership role in 2002 should reference what Reid said at the time and force him to practice as he plays now.