Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s racial remarks about President Barack Obama “unfortunate.” But said he didn’t think Reid had “a prejudiced bone in his body.”
Holder, the nation’s first black Attorney General, told The Associated Press that Reid is “a good man who has done an awful lot in his leadership position to advance the rights of people of color in this country, and he’s a good guy who I admire a great deal.”
The Nevada Democrat recently apologized to Obama and black politicians after a new book reported that during Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Reid said his prospects were good because he was a “light skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
Holder said the remark was unfortunate “in the sense that it’s created this controversy and raised questions about a man I don’t have any doubts about myself.”
Holder said the matter should be closed, since Obama accepted Reid’s apology. But Senate Republicans have called for Reid’s resignation. The Democratic leader is one of the most vulnerable senators up for re-election this year, with polls show him trailing possible rivals amid grassroots anger over health care reform.
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