Geoff Dornan

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October 23, 2012
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Reid continues criticism of GOP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continued his criticism of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as well as the GOP obstructionism Reid said has prevented progress on a long list of issues.

"I have been a one-man wrecking crew speaking out against Mitt Romney," he said in an interview in Carson City on Monday.

He said Romney has essentially been on every side of every major issue including abortion and women's health care and gay rights.

"This plastic man who's running for president and changes his opinion every chance he gets should not be president," said Reid.

Reid has especially hammered at Romney's refusal to release more of his tax returns but said Monday he understands why he won't.

"He couldn't. There's so much stuff in there," Reid said. "The reason he's not giving us those returns is he's afraid to."

His criticism of Republican members of congress was equally sharp, pointing out that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said his number one priority was to make sure Barack Obama was a one term president.

Reid said Republicans have done that in large part by misusing the Senate's rules including the filibuster to block movement on a long list of critical issues.

Reid said he has been majority leader six years, the same length of time Lyndon Johnson led the Senate. During that time, he said Johnson faced just one filibuster - a rules procedure used to block action on legislation. He said he has faced 384 filibusters by Republicans.

"Think how much better it would have been (over the past four years) if the other side had worked with us," said Reid.

He had more criticism for both the Supreme Court's decision opening the floodgates to wealthy corporate contributors and for members of Congress who have signed the no-taxes pledge.

"The Supreme Court has made some bad decisions but none worse than that," he said referring to the Citizens United ruling declaring corporations to be people and voiding state laws limiting their political contributions.

He said that has allowed a group of "17 old white men" including Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas and the Koch brothers to have a huge impact on elections by pouring millions into primarily Republican candidates' coffers.

Those who signed the tax pledge, Reid said, "are bound more to this pledge to Grover Norquist than they're bound to the constitution."

Reid said, however, he believes Obama will win - including in Nevada where he said the president has a 7-8 percent lead in his latest poll.

Reid said despite claims Democrats in Nevada are disillusioned and won't turn out to vote like they did in 2008, the first day or early voting in Clark County last Saturday - where Democrats hold a huge registration advantage over the GOP - drew some 6,000 more voters than day one four years ago. He said Washoe County also had a strong opening turnout.

He told a group of supporters before sitting down with reporters that Democrats are also looking good in other states too including Indiana, North Dakota, Montana and Arizona.

He predicted that Democrats will pick up seats in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

If those things happen, Reid said he believes the GOP will be more willing to work across the aisle than in the past four years.

"I think the experiment of the Republicans will have failed," he said referring to the obstructive tactics.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Oct 23, 2012 02:07AM Published Oct 23, 2012 02:07AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.