‘They All Scare Me,’ Reid Says of GOP Opponents

Posted May 31, 2010 at 6:58pm

BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shrugged off suggestions Monday that he has a preferred GOP candidate that he would like to run against in November, saying all the top contenders in the June 8 primary could pose a threat.

“They all scare me,” the Nevada Democrat said after speaking at a Memorial Day event at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Rumors have abounded that Reid would prefer to take on Tea Party Express-endorsed candidate Sharron Angle, rather than former state GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden or businessman Danny Tarkanian.

But Reid said, “I have no control over who’s going to be in the general election.”

A recent Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal backs up the theory that Reid might have his easiest race against Angle. It shows him winning against her 42 percent to 39 percent.

While his numbers have risen slightly in that poll — he has knocked six points off his unfavorable rating and added five points to his favorability rating compared with two months ago — Reid still would have a tough time against Lowden and Tarkanian, the poll shows.

But in previous polls those candidates appeared poised to handily beat the Majority Leader, and now he has moved within one or two points of them.

Asked what his election strategy is, Reid said he is “just going to continue doing my job.”

“I’ve got a big job, and I’m just going to continue doing the best that I can helping the people of Nevada and the rest of our country,” he added.

He pushed back against allegations that his position as Majority Leader has taken his focus off Nevada.

“I think when, you know … the accounting’s done on the books, you’ll find that my role as Majority Leader has been very, very good for Nevada,” Reid said. “I control what goes in and out of the Senate, and as a result of that Nevada’s gotten far more than its share.”

Reid received a warm reception at the Memorial Day event, which was attended by Gov. Jim Gibbons (R), Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.). Lowden was also in attendance, as were Republican candidates seeking to take on Berkley and Titus.

In a local television interview after the ceremony, Reid took an opportunity to tout his involvement in filing an amicus curiae brief in a Supreme Court case that will decide whether it is permissible to protest at military funerals. The protesters in the case in question contend the nation’s acceptance of homosexuality is to blame for the deaths of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We have evil people trying to interfere with funerals,” Reid told the local Fox TV station. “That’s why … last week we worked on an issue where I had almost all the Senate join with me in filing a brief to the Supreme Court to stop that nonsense, so these people can at least have a funeral in peace.”