Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told KNPR radio Friday that he hopes Republicans' ongoing opposition to President Obama is driven by "substance" and not race.
"My counterpart, Mitch McConnell, said at the the beginning of the presidency of Barack Obama that he had one goal -- and that is to defeat Obama and make sure he wasn't re-elected. And that's how they legislate in the Senate," he said. "It was really bad. And we're now seven months into this second term of the president's and they haven't changed much."
"It's been obvious that they're doing everything they can to make him fail," Reid said. "And I hope, I hope -- and I say this seriously -- I hope that's based on substance and not the fact that he's African-American."
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring immediately called Reid's remarks "offensive" and "insane."
McConnell's spokesman Don Stewart said in an email that Reid "made a factual misstatement about Sen. McConnell," observing that the Republican leader's remarks about making Obama a one-term president came during an Oct. 2010 interview with National Journal, and not at the beginning of his presidency.
"So both the statement and the premise are false," Stewart told TPM.
This post has been updated.