Harry Reid: Chinese Pres Hu is A ‘Dictator’ … Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Said That

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has an interesting perspective on the differences between the political systems of America and China — and what he should and shouldn’t be saying about the matter.

As Jon Ralston reports, from an interview with Reid:

Only Harry Reid, when asked about whether he still thought the lame-duck tax cut deal was a good one, would begin his serpentine answer thusly:

“I am going to go back to Washington and meet with the president of China. He is a dictator. He can do a lot of things through the form of government they have. Maybe I shouldn’t have said dictator. But they have a different type of government then we have and that is an understatement.”

First, you might wonder what Hu Jintao has to do with the question I asked. (Reid would later make clear he was comparing China with America, where compromise is essential in “the best system ever devised to rule the affairs of men and women.”)

Sure, what Reid said is not exactly false. But still, this might not be the right thing for a top American leader to say when Hu is embarking on a major state visit to this country.