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GOP blasts Harry Reid for slavery remark

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(Read caption) Senator John McCain said he was astonished to hear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid compare those opposed to the Democratic health care plan to opponents of slavery.

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As could be expected, Republicans haven't been all that receptive to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's assertion that those who oppose the Democratic health care legislation are like those who supported slavery.

Reid made the controversial comparison on the Senate floor yesterday.

"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right," Reid said. "When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.'"

"When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today," he added.

"Astonished and taken aback"

Senator John McCain said he was "astonished" to hear Reid's comments.

"I was astonished and taken aback to see a article that just crossed my desk," he said referring to a story discussing Reid's charge.

McCain said he has always tried to be respectful of his colleagues' opinions even if they don't align with his viewpoints. "I intend to maintain that respect," he said.

He said Reid's comments were so egregious that he owes an explanation to his Senate colleagues.


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