PHILADELPHIA — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid seemed practically elated over reports of alleged domestic abuse by Florida Rep. Alan Grayson.
“We are feeling really good about what’s going on in Florida with Grayson’s ex-wife telling everybody what a rat he is,” Reid said in a brief interview Thursday after a news conference at the Nevada delegation’s hotel.
Lolita Grayson alleged this week that she called the police on her husband multiple times for domestic abuse over a two-decade period. Grayson has denied the accusations.
Reid's remarks came in response to a question about how he views the map taking shape for the Democratic effort to take back the Senate in 2016.
“He’s an absolute fraud,” the Nevada Democrat said during the media availability.
Reid recalled a widely reported confrontation with Grayson at a meeting of House progressives in which Grayson pressed the minority leader on why he was attacking him over his hedge fund dealings.
“I said, ‘I wanted you to lose because I think you’re a dishonest man,’” Reid said. “And now, having whacked his wife — ex-wife — around a few times.”
Reid, along with party leaders including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., has endorsed Grayson's Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Patrick Murphy, in the Florida Senate race.
“I would hope that he would just drop out of the race because he can’t win,” Reid said when asked if Grayson should go so far as to resign from his House seat in the wake of the latest controversy.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who stands poised to succeed Reid as minority leader next year, also urged Grayson to step aside.
“I’ve never thought much about Grayson as a candidate. … And now it’s, of course, much, much worse,” the New York Democrat told Politico . “He ought to do the right thing and drop out.”
Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski .