Reid's Hispanic Voter Comments Called Racially Charged - 8 News NOW

Reid's Hispanic Voter Comments Called Racially Charged

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LAS VEGAS -- Comments from Democratic Senator Harry Reid about Hispanic Republicans has some of his opponents claiming the majority leader is "race-baiting."

As Reid stepped into the Hermandad Mexicana non-profit group Tuesday afternoon, he also stepped into a controversy over a comment in reference to a reporter's question.

"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican. OK? Do I need to say more," he said.

Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle's campaign responded, claiming Reid's comments represented "race-baiting at its worst."

Senator Reid attended a clean energy summit to talk about thousands of solar power jobs coming with new projects. We asked him about his comment:

"You said yesterday that 'I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.' How is that different than somebody else hypothetically saying, 'I don't know how whites could vote for President Obama?' Both are general statements talking about an ethnicity's voting pattern," asked 8 News NOW Reporter Nathan Baca.

Reid responded saying, "I'm very fortunate I've had support from Hispanics for a long, long time. I have a number of Republicans for Reid that are Hispanics. My comment is directed towards how anyone could support what is going on now, especially with my opponent, being in favor of Yucca Mountain, wanting to do away with Medicare and Social Security, the Department of Energy and on and on. That's the purpose of my comment."

When asked why he mentioned Hispanics specifically, Reid said, "I was in front of a Hispanic audience. That's where I was."

There are no Hispanic Republicans in Nevada's state legislature. But Republican nominee for Nevada governor, Brian Sandoval, who is of Hispanic heritage, said of Reid's comments, "I'm not going to comment on that. That's something he's going to have to answer for himself."

Sharron Angle's campaign just announced they will be rallying at the Arizona border this Sunday in support of that state's controversial immigration law.

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