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Reid apologizes for remarks at Asian business group event but loses an endorsement

Harry Reid Diversity.jpg

FILE: Nov. 7, 2012: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (AP)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has apologized for making racially insensitive jokes at an event Thursday sponsored by the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce, but perhaps too late for group members who later didn’t endorse Reid’s pick for Nevada lieutenant governor.

The chamber endorsed Republican Mark Hutchison, not the Nevada Democratic senator’s pick, Lucy Flores, according to The Las Vegas Review Journal.

Reid said at the event: "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are."

And he concluded his remarks by saying: "One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight."

Reid reportedly left the luncheon after his speech and missed the formal endorsement announcements. The chamber said Flores said he would attend but failed to show.

"My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize," Reid told Politico on Friday. "Sometimes I say the wrong thing."

Hutchinson also has the backing of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Asians are the fastest-growing minority group in Nevada, which means their endorsement could help Hutchinson in the close race.

“I think this is a very important endorsement,” Hutchison told the newspaper.