Harry Reid Says Republicans Fear the Tea Party

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Today on CBS's Face the Nation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told host Bob Schieffer that he felt that the leadership of the Republican party is afraid of the Tea Party and allowing them to dictate how they act. When a seemingly surprised Scheiffer asked Reid if he felt House Speaker John Boehner's Republican leadership was intimidated by the Tea Party, Reid answered, "That's a pretty good choice of words. The answer is yes. The Tea Party is dictating a lot that goes on in the Republican leadership in the House." Just before Schieffer's question Reid had said that "the Republican leadership in the House has to make a decision: whether they are going to do the right thing for the country or do the right thing for the Tea Party."


Reid's sentiments were echoed by the Senate's third leading Democrat Chuck Schumer. Speaking on ABC's This Week, Schumer said that he felt the Tea Party was "extreme." "The Tea Party is the group standing in the way. They are extreme," he said. Later during the day Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, responded to both senators comments. "I think radical and extreme is driving the country into bankruptcy which is what the democrats want to do... You want to talk about radical and extreme, talk about Harry Reid. That is radical and extreme. His kind of spending," he said to Fox News. Phillips also said, that despite Reids claims to the contrary he and other members of the Tea Party movement "are expressing the outrage of the American people."

While these thoughts about Republicans and the Tea Party may have been on the minds of Reid, Schumer and other Democrats for a while now, it was surprising to hear them vocalized so bluntly. It also seems that, with Obama's reelection campaign announcement expected early this week, Democrats are drawing an even starker line in the sand between them and their Republican counterparts.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.