Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was forced to apologize Friday for racially-charged jokes he made in a speech to Asian business leaders in Las Vegas.
The Nevada Democrat ribbed the crowd at a event by the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce about Asians not being “smarter than anybody else” and so many of them having the name “Wong.”
“The Asian population is so productive. I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you have convinced a lot of us you are,” said Mr. Reid, as the crowd guffawed.
He later joked: “One problem I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”
The conservative activist group America Rising posted a video of Mr. Reid’s remarks online Friday, prompting him to apologize.
“My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing,” Mr. Reid said in a statement his office provided to The Washington Times.
It wasn’t the first time Mr. Reid apologized for hitting a racial nerve.
In 2010, he apologized to President Obama from comments he made during Mr. Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign that he benefited from being “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”