"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a candidate for the US House from Nevada not to run for office because he was a Muslim.
But don't you dare accuse Harry of being a raaaaaacist.
"On August 27th, I was told by Harry Reid: 'Let me be blunt, you are not going to be able to win because you are a Muslim,'" Jesse Sbaih wrote in an email to supporters Tuesday which was also posted on the Daily Kos.
He added that an adviser to Reid also told him he would "have a problem winning, because you are a Muslim."
Sbaih, a lawyer and immigrant from Jordan, is running for Nevada's 3rd District. His accusations were first reported by The Washington Post.
Reid's staffers quickly denied the outgoing Senate Democratic leader made the comment, while acknowledging he met with Sbaih in August.
"They met, but Senator Reid never said that," Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman for Reid told The Hill. "Jesse is using Senator Reid's name to seek his 15 minutes of fame."
While Reid did say he thought Sbaih couldn't win, she said it wasn't because of his religion.
"There were a number of different factors," she added, including that he wasn't well known in the district and had never run for political office before.
Orthman stressed that Sbaih was unable to provide direct evidence to support his allegations to the Post or The Associated Press.
The Post also reported that an aide for Reid's office later suggested he should apply for a position on the Election Assistance Commission.
Sbaih, in the email to supporters, said it was an attempt to "muscle me out of the race and to DC. I respectfully declined the offer."
Orthman rejected his characterization. As part of the August meeting, she said Reid encouraged him to run for a state government office or apply for an important commission.
"He himself asked us to look out for opportunities to be involved," she said, noting that they encouraged a handful of others to apply for the commission.
Sbaih suggested in the email to supporters that since he turned down the federal job, he's been "hindered from hiring staff and regular Democratic donors have been told that they should not support our campaign."
The question isn't whether what Reid said was true - it is. The question is what would the reaction have been if a Republican had said the same thing?
In that, there is no mystery. There was little backlash against Reid in 2010 when he told journalist Mark Halperin that Obama was successful because of his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
A Republican who made such a racist statement would have been run out of politics. But Harry said he was sorry that he's a racist and that appeased those who find it convenient to use race as a political weapon.
Just another example of Reid's hypocrisy." -- Rick Moran