Sen. Harry Reid Apologizes for Saying the 'Wrong Thing' About Asians

By | August 25, 2014 | 11:00 AM EDT

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (AP File Photo)

( - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has apologized for his comments on Asians that were "in extremely poor taste," he later admitted.

Speaking to the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Nevada last Thursday, Reid said, "The Asian population is so productive. I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are.”

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the remark drew laughter and applause. Later, after a man was introduced at the podium, Reid said, "One problem I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”

Reid's comments were captured on camera by a Republican opposition research group.

"Sometimes I say the wrong thing," Reid said in his subsequent apology, which came in the form of a written statement.

After Reid left the luncheon, the Asian Chamber of Commerce endorsed the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor instead of the Democrat Reid is backing.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, "Reid has long been close to the Asian community, relying on their Democratic-leaning constituency to help him and other Democrats win elections, including his 2010 re-election bid."

Asians account for about 7.7 percent of Nevada’s population, double what it was a decade ago, the Review Journal reported, citing Census figures.