Matt Vespa

Sen. Harry Reid is continuing his odd habit of providing racial commentaries. It seems that Asians were the next demographic on his list, where his speech to the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce included some awkward jokes about Asian-Americans (via Time) [emphasis mine]:

I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are,” Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told the guffawing crowd at the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. Video of the remarks was recorded by the Republican opposition research group American Rising.

Later, before walking off stage, Reid quipped: “One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”

The group decided against backing the Reid-endorsed Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Lucy Flores, supporting Republican Mark Hutchison instead, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

A spokesperson for Reid did not immediately respond to a request for comment

Sen. Reid has a history of making odd comments about ethnic groups, some of which have been racially-charged.

Back in 2008, Sen. Reid said that then-Sen. Obama would be successful in his presidential ambitions since he was a “light-skinned African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” These private comments were included in Mark Halperin and John Heilemann book "Game Change." Reid later apologized for his remarks.

In 2010, during his re-election bid, Reid told a group of Hispanic voters at a campaign event that he doesn’t “know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.” That same year, Nevada elected Brian Sandoval, a Republican of Hispanic heritage, as their next governor. Sandoval handily beat Reid’s son, Rory, in that contest.

Right now, Sandoval’s incredibly popular, especially with Hispanics in Nevada; and has little to no opposition. Democrats were said to be having trouble finding a worthy opponent to challenge Sandoval in this Democrat-leaning state for 2014.

Oh, and if Sandoval decides to challenge Reid in 2016, things could get interesting.

UPDATE: (via the Washington Post): Almost forgot that he called New York Senator Kristien Gillibrand the "hottest member" of the Senate; she was sitting a few feet away from him. And, said that Sen. Ted Kennedy's death would make it easier to pass Obamacare.  He's very indelicate to say the least.  

Update II: I almost forgot to add what Hot Air's Noah Rothman tweeted earlier today.  Back in 2010, Reid criticized his then-Republican opponent, Sharon Angle, for making an Asian comment (via Politico):

 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pounding Republican Sharron Angle for telling a Hispanic student group they looked Asian, hoping to fire up a crucial voting demographic in the process.

"I really don't know what my opponent was talking about, because you all look like Nevadans to me," Reid said to cheers at a Las Vegas get-out-the-vote rally today [ 10/19/10].

...

Reid also blasted Angle at a press conference on Monday, saying, "Her mouth does not have the ability to speak the truth."

UPDATE III: Harry Reid has apologized.  The Senate Majority leader said, "My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing.”

That's an understatement. 


Matt Vespa

Matt Vespa is the Web Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com. He previously worked for CNS News and was the recipient of Americans for Prosperity Foundation's 2013 Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting.