Michael Steele Lets Harry Reid Off Easy On Obama “Negro Dialect” Comment

The weekend news dump probably will not save Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, after leaks from the upcoming book Game Change revealed racially insensitive comments, charging Obama’s success to his “light-skinned appearance and speaking patterns with no negro dialect.” This is a story you wouldn’t think Republicans would let die quietly, despite the president’s accepting of Reid’s apology. But chairman of the RNC Michael Steele appeared with Geraldo Rivera last night, calling Reid’s comments an “unfortunate situation,” but failing to twist the knife more.

Claiming that he was in meetings all day, and thus only barely aware of the reports, Steele declined to comment in depth about his opinions on Reid’s major gaffe — an interesting position for the leader of the opposition party to take with such a ripe opportunity for scandal. When asked if Reid should step down, Steele also dithered, commenting that Reid would be forced to step aside when he faced a Republican challenger in midterm elections.

Perhaps Steele, set to appear on Fox News Sunday today, will come more prepared to assure the crass words contribute to the end of Reid’s political post as he faces reelection in the swing state of Nevada. See his initial reaction in the clip below:

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