Harry Reid Says He Understands Trump's Popularity

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Sen. Harry ReidSen. Harry Reid

There’s no doubt that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is liberal. But in recent weeks, he’s started praising Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

After joking about backing Trump, Reid told reporters, according to The Hilll: "Look, we've gotten along fine. With that bunch of people running, I'm kind of pulling for him."

Trump has campaigned on his ability to work with Democrats, including Reid, who joked, "Oh, I remember the good old days when he did a fundraiser or two for me."

Reid then apologized for his comments. "There's some things I shouldn't joke about," he said from the Senate floor. "The danger of a Donald Trump candidacy to our country is not a joke.” Reid clarified he was "trying to be funny" and called Trump a "hateful demagogue who will do immeasurable damage to our country." 

"Obviously it wasn't very funny, Schumer kicked me in the back [of the] leg," he said, referring to Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who is expected to proceed him. "I'm watching with pleasure the Republicans fumbling around ... I just think it has made a mockery of our Republican Party."

Despite Reid’s jokes, he has said that he understands why Trump is so popular. "He's a person who is authentic," Reid told CNN on Feb. 11. 

"You may not agree with his authenticity but he's authentic. People like that. He speaks his mind, which reminds me of me once in a while. I think that's something that's refreshing. He just says whatever he thinks is appropriate. I think some of the stuff is not so good but he does that. People identify with that. It wouldn't sell very well with Democrats but he's selling pretty well with Republicans.”

Still, Reid wouldn’t say if he thought Trump could beat a Democratic nominee for the White House.

Sources: The Hill, CNN / Photo credit: Senate Democrats/Flickr

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