Angle Dodges Reporters by Taking Senators’ Route

Posted June 15, 2010 at 5:10pm

It didn’t take long for Sharron Angle to make good on her Senate campaign promise to not be a typical Washington insider.

After attending the weekly Senate GOP luncheon in a room just off the Senate floor Tuesday, the Nevada Republican was ushered by National Republican Senatorial Committee aides into the antechamber, apparently to avoid a throng of reporters pressing to ask Angle questions.

Rob Jesmer, executive director of the NRSC, Angle and her sizable entourage of staff then quickly disappeared down a stairwell to the first floor of the Capitol.

The problem is, only lawmakers and certain staff members are allowed access to the floor, including the back hallway that Angle used to flee the press corps, as well as that stairwell.

Although the use of the stairs appears to have been an oversight on the part of Angle’s escort, in the past far more high-profile visitors have found themselves shooed from the antechamber.

For instance, when Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited the Senate last month, he was originally denied access to the back hallway and stairs until Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) took to the Senate floor and received unanimous consent from the chamber to grant floor privileges to the visiting leader and his staff.

NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh dismissed Angle’s foray onto the Senate floor as a mistake, and he used the incident as an opportunity to take a dig at Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decades of experience in Washington. Angle is challenging the Democrat for his seat this November.

“If they accidentally went down the wrong stairway and no one corrected them, then aside from being a simple mistake, it only further highlights that unlike Harry Reid, Sharron Angle hasn’t spent the last 27 years walking the hallways of Congress,” Walsh said, adding that NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) “and his colleagues will be happy to walk her around, though, when her fellow citizens in Nevada elect her this November.”