Feinstein: Reid should not step down

Jan. 10, 2010 at 1:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., should not resign his post over racially charged comments, a top Democrat said Sunday.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Reid's 2008 comments about then-Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama were "a mistake," but noted that Obama has accepted Reid's apology "and it would seem to me that the matter should be closed."

Reid was quoted in a recent book on the presidential campaign as saying he believed Obama could win because he was "a light-skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Reid apologized to Obama Saturday and the president accepted.

Feinstein rejected comparisons of Reid's situation to that of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who quit the post in 2002 after praising the 1948 presidential run Strom Thurmond on a segregationist platform.

She told CBS she "saw no Democrats jumping out there and condemning Senator Lott. I know Senator Lott. I happen to be very fond of him. And he made a mistake."

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