Politics

Harry Reid Talks Frustration And Advice In Interview

| by Oren Peleg

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, has been making the farewell rounds as he steps off into retirement. Reid has taken the opportunity to highlight various career successes and give his party a glance forward.

“I had a different view than most people who serve in elected office,” Reid told Nevada Public Radio in a recent interview. “I never tried to be friends with everybody. I don’t mean that to be negative, but I knew I couldn’t be.”

Reid published an op-ed with The New York Times on Dec. 8 in which he dealt with the future of Obamacare:

Repealing Obamacare will take health insurance away from millions of Americans — as many as 30 million, by one recent estimate. It will raise premiums and throw health insurance markets into disarray. Public support for repeal is low, and support for repeal without a replacement is in the basement. … I was in the Senate when President George W. Bush misread his mandate and sought to privatize Social Security. His administration never recovered.

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According to Nevada Public Radio, Reid also responded to concern over Russia’s hacking of the U.S. presidential election, and whether Congress should “do something about” the incident.

“Of course they should, but whether they’ll do it or not, [Mitch] McConnell, my successor ... has said he believes it should be handled in the intelligence committee,” Reid said. “That’s a buzzword for bury the damn thing because it will go no place.”

He then discussed his frustration with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). 

"I believe one of the failures of Democratic Party has been the Democratic National Committee, the DNC, has been worthless," he said. "They do nothing to help state parties. That should be the main goal they have. I developed everything in Nevada on my own. Their help was relatively meaningless."

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Reid ended with advice to Catherine Cortez Masto, his successor to the U.S. Senate.

“My advice for Catherine would be: Be bold,” he began. “Don’t sit around and try to be everything to everybody. Do things that she thinks are important. Take positions on things. Don’t have the people of Nevada guess where you stand on an issue, be open with the press, be willing to meet with them.”

Sources: Nevada Public Radio, The New York Times / Photo credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund/Flickr

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