Will: Not a ‘Scintilla of Racism’ in Reid Race Remarks

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Jan 10, 2010 1:03pm

George Will waded in to the controversy over what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called his “improper”  comments about then-Senator Obama’s race.   Reid apologized for the comments which appear in “Game Change”, a new book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, hitting book stores this week.  

Here’s what Heilemann and Halperin report in the book about what Reid said during the 2008 presidential campaign:

 “[Reid] 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.”

On the roundtable, George Will defended Reid against charges of racism and provoked this spirited exchange with fellow conservative Liz Cheney:
   
WILL:  I don't think there's a scintilla of racism in what Harry Reid said.  At long last, Harry Reid has said something that no one can disagree with, and he gets in trouble for it.
CHENEY:  George, give me a break.  I mean, talking about the color of the president's skin…
WILL:  Did he get it wrong?
CHENEY:  … and the candidate's…
WILL:  Did he say anything false?
CHENEY:  … it's — these are clearly racist comments, George.
WILL:  Oh, my, no.

Cheney also said the episode highlights a liberal double standard on issues of race.  “One of the things that makes the American people frustrated is when they see time and time again liberals excusing racism from other liberals.  And I think that, you know, clearly, Senator Reid's comments were outrageous.”

Watch Video HERE:

- George Stephanopoulos

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