Oops: Harry Reid Calls Chinese President a ‘Dictator’ During U.S. Trip


hu-jintao-harry-reidHarry Reid has put his foot in his mouth again — and this time he might really wish he’d been more careful with his words.┬áThe Senate Majority Leader called Chinese President Hu Jintao a “dictator” on Tuesday — the same day Hu arrived on a diplomatic visit to the U.S. to discuss their at-times rocky relationship.

“I am going to go back to Washington tomorrow and meet with the president of China. He is a dictator,” Reid told local TV talk show “Face to Face with Jon Ralston.” “He can do a lot of things through the form of government they have.”

The inflammatory remarks were made after Ralston asked if Reid thought the lame-duck tax cut deal was a good one. The Nevada senator quickly backtracked from his statement.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have said dictator, but they have a different type of government than we have and that’s an understatement,” Reid said.

Jon Summers, the Senate majority leader’s spokesman, told the Daily News that “Reid himself said that wasn’t the best choice of words and corrected it.”

Summers said Reid was referring to the differences between the American and Chinese governments.

“Obviously, he believes strongly in the American political system and our form of government,” said Summers. “He also believes that it is important for us to continue our dialogue with the Chinese government about a wide range of issues which are critical to both countries, including our economy, Iran, North Korea.”

President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and Hu shared an intimate dinner Tuesday night. Also in attendance were two top Chinese officials and national security adviser Tom Donilon.

Hu’s visit comes amid tensions over the Communist country’s currency, trade and human rights policies. A formal state dinner — the first with the Chinese in 13 years — will be held today and Reid is expected to be there.

It isn’t the first time Reid has made some eyebrow-raising remarks.

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com}