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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has acknowledged and apologized for controversial racial remarks he made about President Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign.

According to the new book “Game Change,” a retrospective of the 2008 campaign, Reid is quoted as saying that he was “was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.'”

“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words,” Reid said in a statement released Saturday morning. “I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments. I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama’s legislative agenda.”

Reid – who basically bribed wavering democrats into voting for Obama’s massive socialized medicine bill last year –  was already facing an uphill reelection fight.

According to a new poll released Saturday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Reid’s unfavorable rating in his home state of Nevada has soared to 52%.  That poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon, also showed Reid losing his November Senate race against any of three prospective GOP challengers – with his support topping out at 41% in those head-to-head match-ups.