Harry Reid Lauds Racial Progress

Amidst the controversy surrounding his remarks about the President, we look back at the Senate Majority Leader's 2008 interview with Big Think, in which he celebrated the racial progress that Obama represents.
  • Transcript


Question: What is the state of race relations in America:

Harry Reid: I feel pretty good about it. I talk about in my book the fact that I didn’t know Jackie Robinson was black when I used to listen to those games on the radio. I just think things have gotten so much better. I think one need only look at Pennsylvania. There’s been a lot written. “Well, Pennsylvania shows that white men won’t vote for a black man.” Let’s look at that. I don’t know the exact statistics of how the whites voted in Pennsylvania, but it’s something like this. About 82% of them voted for Obama; 12% didn’t. Those numbers don’t look too bad to me. I think that when this race is over and whether we have Clinton or Obama, this primary has been great for the country. For the first time in the history of the country, we have a woman that is running and is viable. For the first time in the history of this country, we have a black man that’s running that is viable and can be elected. This has been wonderful. For we Democrats, it’s been exciting. We have registered millions of people because of this primary. People say, “Isn’t this primary going on too long?” Every day it goes on, vast numbers of new Democrats come on--one for Obama, one for Clinton. Pennsylvania is an example. We have four million registered Democrats for the first time in the history of that state. We have in Nevada, for the first time in a generation, we have almost 50,000 more Democrats than Republicans in this state. So I think we’re doing just fine.