A Whole New Line of Attack on Harry Reid: He Supported Ending Birthright Citizenship

The Washington Times has dug up a short-lived 1993 bill Harry Reid introduced that, among other things, aimed to end birthright citizenship. Since Reid is now reliant on Nevada's Hispanic voters for re-election and has denounced Republicans' efforts to repeal parts of the 14th amendment so that children born in the U.S. are not automatically citizens, this blast from his past is particularly relevant.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent agrees, but thinks that the worst damage has already been done:

Guess what: It happens to be true that Reid did introduce such a bill. And it was indefensible. But here's the thing: I've learned that Reid already apologized profusely for this in a speech in 2006, admitted he was wrong, and described this as the "low point" of his career. In other words, Reid himself agrees that it was indefensible. ...

"That is a low point of my legislative career, the low point of my governmental career," Reid said. He went on to tell the assembled Senators that his wife had chastized him for the move. "She, in effect, said: I can't believe that you have done it," Reid recounted. "But I had done it."

Reid's apology delivered in "a near whisper as many Senators looked on in amazement," according to one news account at the time.

Yes, Reid did do this. And it's a legit story for conservatives to bring to light, in the wake of the debate over the 14th amendment. But it should be part of the discussion that Reid apologized profusely for what he did and described it as the worst moment of his career -- even as some Republicans continue to push for a reexamination of the 14th amendment 17 years later.

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

Presented by

Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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