Reid apologises to Obama for 'negro' remark

Reid apologises to Obama for 'negro' remark

Reid apologises to Obama for 'negro' remark

Barack Obama with Harry Reid. File photo/AP

Reid, the Senate's Democratic majority leader, was quoted as saying Obama was popular with voters because he is "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

The comments, reported in a new book about the 2008 White House race, prompted the Nevada Democrat to issue a statement saying he was sorry, and pointing to his work with African-Americans.

"I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologise for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments," Reid said in a statement on Saturday.

"Throughout my career... I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community."

Obama later issued a statement accepting Reid's apology "without question." "Harry Reid called me today and apologised for an unfortunate comment reported today," the president said.

"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", Obama said.