Harry Reid says compared to Trump, George W. Bush is ‘Babe Ruth’ of presidents

Former Democratic Senate leader says ‘I just have trouble accepting him [Trump] as a person’

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says the pancreatic cancer he was diagnosed with in 2018 is now in remission. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Harry Reid, former Senate Democratic conference leader and majority leader, said that if he was fielding a baseball team of presidents, Donald Trump wouldn’t make the cut.

“George Bush would be the Babe Ruth in this league ... Donald Trump wouldn’t make the team,” Reid told CNN in an extensive interview aired Monday.

The Nevada Democrat, who was once a fierce critic of Bush, declared that he now wishes “every day” for a leader like him, as opposed to Trump — describing past disagreements with Bush as “strictly political battles.”

“I just have trouble accepting him [Trump] as a person, so frankly I don’t see anything he’s doing right,” Reid told CNN.

Trump responded to his remarks in a tweet that asserted Reid’s career, “led through lies and deception,” was a failure.

The President falsely implied that Reid was kicked out of Congress. He retired in 2017 after serving 30 years in the Senate and his hand-picked successor, Catherine Cortez Masto, won his seat in 2016.

Reid was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, but has since entered remission. He had two back surgeries, due to chemotherapy complications, that left him unable to walk much without assistance.

In the wide-ranging interview, Reid pondered his own legacy and reflected on his personal relationships in government:

  • He revealed that his biggest regret while in office was voting in favor of the Iraq War, calling it: “the worst foreign policy decision in the history of our country.”
  • Reid reported that he made peace with Sen. Mitt Romney. The two had a taut relationship after Reid took to the Senate floor during the 2012 presidential election to question if Romney, the GOP nominee, paid taxes.
  • He shared the accomplishments that he is most proud of: being a leader in passing the Affordable Care Act, stabilizing markets after The Great Recession and preserving land in Nevada.

Watch: Valentine’s, sweets and a national emergency: Congressional Hits and Misses

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.