Takeaways from Sen. Harry Reid
Reid to Obama: Come out swinging in second debate against Mitt Romney
President Obama’s performance at the first presidential debate had many Democrats worried that their candidate can't hold his own against Governor Mitt Romney.
U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid says the president tried to be too polite, and he blames moderator Jim Lehrer too. But Reid acknowledges the first debate, "Didn’t turn out well..." for Obama.
Now Sen. Reid says it's time for Obama to talk about Mitt Romney's record.
“Mitt Romney has a lot of problems. Number one, as Ted Kennedy said, he is multiple choice on the issue of choice. He was pro-choice, then he became pro-life,” says Reid, adding that Romney has also flip-flopped on the issues of gay rights, gun rights and immigration reform.
And of course, Reid wants Obama to raise concerns about a crusade that Reid himself has championed: the missing tax returns that Romney refuses to hand over.
“Why?” asks Reid, “Because he has all these investments in the Bahamas, in the Caymen Islands and in Switzerland. Tax plan? Well, he’s got one but he’s going to wait until later to show it to us. I mean we have an election November 6 th , and he won’t show us a tax plan.”
Heller-Berkeley Polls? Reid Doesn't Believe Them
Reid has seen the same poll numbers as the rest of Nevada that show Dean Heller ahead of Shelley Berkeley by as much as 8 points in the race for the U.S. Senate.
He’s just not buying them; he points to a time in his own political history when the pollsters were wrong. All but one predicted he’d lose the 2010 Senate race.
“Shelley has the same pollster that I had, Mark Mellman, and Mark Mellman knows Nevada better than any other pollster,” says Reid. “Nevada has more unlisted phone numbers than anyplace else in America, and Mellman gets through to all of these people.”
Mellman predicted a win for Reid in 2010.
“He said I would win by between 5 and 6 points. I won by 5.5 points,” says Reid. “Mark Mellman has Shelley ahead by 2 points. I really believe in Mark Mellman.”
Reid Offered Help To Tarkanians, Sort Of
Faced with a request to give advice to GOP Congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian and his family as to how to avoid the sting of a $17 million dollar loan that the Tarkanians say they are unable to pay, Reid went public with the idea that having a congressman who had gone bankrupt would be “embarrassing.”
Lois Tarkanian has accused Reidof turning her family’s request for financial help into political fodder.
“I don’t blame Lois for standing up for her boy,” says Reid. “But we have a real bad economy here.”
Reid says that he did what he would do for any constituent; he set up the appropriate meetings with the appropriate federal agencies.
“I can’t make a $17 million dollar guarantee go away,” says Reid. “If the Tarkanians are in trouble, they’re going to have to pay this money back.”
Reid Says He Doesn't Really Hate Romney
According to a recent BuzzFeed article, the reason Reid constantly criticizes Romney is not because he’s playing an attack dog role, but because Reid “personally, deeply loathes Mitt Romney.”
Reid has even challenged Romney’s devotion to their shared religion, going so far as to say the GOP candidate has “sullied the Mormon faith.”
The senator says the charges are not true, and calls Romney a “good guy” with a wife who is “very very nice.”
His complaint, he says, is with Romney’s flip-flopping.
“You’re pro-choice when you’re running in Massachusetts, you’re pro-life when you’re someplace else, you’re for gay rights when you’re in Massachusetts, you’re against them when you’re someplace else,” says Reid. “No one knows who this man is, he keeps changing his position on everything.”
Everyone Knows What Needs To Be Done, It Just Has To Be Done
Policy analysts say that budget cuts scheduled for the end of December will be a disaster to defense spending and lead to drastically underfunded public services. Sen. Reid insists the answer lies in getting the Republicans to agree to a tax for those making more than $1 million a year.
“I have always said we are not going to have a financial catastrophe. We will work something out,” says Reid. “For example, I wanted to stop the layoffs of a million teachers, firefighters and police officers. We would pay for that with a surtax of three tenths of one percent.”
Reid believes that those in that tax bracket would willingly pay if it meant retaining the services of thousands of public employees.
“Everyone knows what needs to be done, it just has to be done.”