Republican leaders have asked that House Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) resign after a new book reported that during the 2008 presidential campaign the senator described Barack Obama as a "light-skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect unless he wanted one."
Reid has since apologized to the president and other black political leaders for the remarks, stating that he deeply regretted the poor choice of words. Obama has accepted Reid’s request for forgiveness, calling his comments "unfortunate."
Meanwhile, certain members of the GOP have identified a double-standard in the way that Republicans and Democrats are treated following racially insensitive remarks. Some conservatives believe that Reid should step down, just as Trent Lott did after the racially charged comments he made in 2002.
"There is this standard where the Democrats feel that they can say these things and they can apologize when it comes from the mouths of their own," said Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele on Sunday. "But if it comes from anyone else, it’s racism."
"It’s difficult to see this situation as anything other than a clear double standard on the part of Senate Democrats and others," added Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).