President Barack Obama hopes that his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao can help smooth tensions between the two nations, but a leader in the Democratic party preferred to characterize Jintao with a word commonly saved for figures such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
During a Jan. 18 interview with a Las Vegas journalist, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called Jintao a dictator, then immediately admitted that he may have used the wrong wording. Regardless of his intentions, Reid's statement stirred some controversy preceding Jintao's scheduled visit with Obama and other top American officials.
According to FOX News, the two world powers were slated to finalize a nuclear security deal during Jintao's visit. In addition, the leaders were expected to discuss other major issues such as currency, trade and human rights.
Reid's recent remarks weren't the first of his to ruffle feathers. During Obama's presidential campaign in 2008, Reid described Obama as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect." Last year, he apologized for his "poor choice of words," according to media reports.