• WisPolitics


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

 4:09 PM 

Feingold backs Reid as majority leader

After saying Monday that he was unsure of his support for Harry Reid as the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Russ Feingold made clear Tuesday that he supports Reid as the Senate's top Democrat, sources confirmed.

According to an account published in the book "Game Change" about the 2008 presidential campaign, Reid said in a private conversation that Barack Obama was "light skinned" and didn't speak with a "negro dialect." The report was made public over the weekend and was confirmed by Reid, who quickly apologized. Obama accepted Reid's apology, as did other top Democrats and civil rights leaders.

However, a firestorm ensued, with some top Republicans calling for Reid to resign his leadership post. Democrats across the country, including Feingold, were asked if Reid should retain the majority leader position. In light of revelations of Reid's 2-year-old comments, Feingold said Monday that he would have to think about the matter before deciding if Reid should keep his leadership post.

But Feingold aides sent signals Tuesday that their boss still backed Reid for his leadership post.

The state GOP lashed out at Feingold over his initial hesitancy to back the Nevada senator, chiding his "ambivalence" toward the controversy.

"Feingold needs to stop blindly following leaders who make inappropriate remarks and immediately call for Reid's resignation," said RPW Executive Director Mark Jefferson in a statement. "Wisconsin voters are starting to see the real Russ Feingold, but instead of a maverick there's a Democrat partisan making excuses for Harry Reid again."

- David M. Drucker


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