A spokesman for Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), the chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, declined to comment about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s racially insensitive jokes about Asians.
“We don’t have any comment on that,” the spokesman said when reached by phone on Friday, adding, “That’s off the record.”
Reid made a series of jokes about Asians in a speech to the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce this week, captured on video by GOP opposition research group America Rising.
“I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are,” Reid told the group of Asian business leaders.
Later, he again joked, “One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”
Reid has since apologized for the racial jokes, but the Asian political groups have been muted in their reaction to the incident.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus’s website says it will “denounce” any “racial and religious discrimination affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”
There are no Republican members of the caucus, although there are many members who are not Asian–like Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), among others. The group’s executive director did not respond to a request for comment about the caucus’ membership requirements.