January 9, 2010 Reid apologizes for 'Negro dialect' comment Posted: January 9th, 2010 01:02 PM ET From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Saturday following reports he had privately described then-candidate Barack Obama during the presidential campaign as a black candidate who could be successful thanks in part to his âlight-skinnedâ appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported the remarks in their new book âGame Change,â according to an excerpt published by The Atlantic late Friday. âHe (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 âlight-skinnedâ African American âwith no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,â as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination," they write. âI deeply regret using such a poor choice of words,â Reid said in a statement to CNN. âI sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments. âI was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obamaâs legislative agenda.â Reid also pointed to his efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry, among other legislation favored by African-American voters: âI have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community.â The Nevada Democrat â who waited to formally endorsed Obama until after the conclusion of the tough presidential primary battle in 2008 - is facing an uphill re-election fight this year in his home state.