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Reid issued an apology today, saying:"He was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.
The White House issued this statement from Obama this afternoon:"I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments. I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama's legislative agenda. Moreover, throughout my career, from efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry to opposing radical judges and promoting diversity in the Senate, I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community."
"Harry Reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported today. 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. As far as I am concerned, the book is closed."
As for Reid's standing in the polls back home, where he is up for re-election this year, a survey conducted Jan. 5-7 by Mason-Dixon for the Las Vegas Journal-Review found that 52 percent regarded Reid unfavorably, 33 percent saw him favorably and 15 percent were neutral. In December, his unfavorable-to-favorable ratio was 49 percent to 38 percent.
Reid trails three potential Republican opponents, getting only about 4 in 10 voters against each of them..
Former Nevada GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden leads Reid 50 percent to 40 percent with 10 percent undecided.
Danny Tarkanian, a former UNLV basketball star and now in the real estate business, leads Reid 49 percent to 41` percent.
Former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle leads Reid 45 percent to 40 percent even though 42 percent of voters don't know her. (The margin of error is 4 points).
The poll said if the GOP primary were held today Tarkanian would lead Lowden by a statistically insignificant 28 percent to 26 percent with Angle getting 13 percent.
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