POLITICS
01/19/2011 10:13 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Harry Reid Calls Hu Jintao A 'Dictator' As State Visit Begins

LAS VEGAS -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid branded Chinese President Hu Jintao a "dictator" on a TV talk show on Tuesday night, a remark likely to make the start of Hu's first state visit to Washington, D.C., awkward for President Obama at a moment when the U.S. is trying to ease tensions with the Asian power.

Reid was responding to a question from "Face To Face" host Jon Ralston about the December compromise that extended the Bush-era tax cuts. The Nevada senator veered off on a tangent intended to compare the American and Chinese systems of government to give a roundabout defense of the importance of legislative compromise.

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