Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday in a rare television interview that his Republican counterparts in the Senate are guilty of “obstructionism on steroids” and that the tea party is slowly “dying out.”
“First of all, I understand the frustration of the American people,” the Nevada senator said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I feel the same way. But understand that we’ve had obstructionism on steroids. The Republican leader, my counterpart, Mitch McConnell, said his number one goal at the beginning of this Congress was to defeat President Obama, not have him re-elected, and that’s how they’ve legislated. We’ve spent months on things that used to happen just matter of factly; raising the debt ceiling. We did it for President Reagan 18 times and we spent two and a half months doing that.”
Reid pinned the blame for the obstructionism on the influence the tea party has in the Republican Party.
“So the number one goal and I hope the Republicans have learned a lesson, as extending the payroll tax,” Reid said.
”That was a disaster for them. Can you imagine Republicans, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, were opposed to lowering taxes? So I would hope that they understand that everything doesn’t have to be a fight. Legislation’s the art of working together, building consensus, compromise, and I hope that the tea party doesn’t have the influence in this next year they had in the previous year. That — because it has been really bad for this country. And I understand, I repeat, why the American people feel the way they do.”
Reid then claimed that the tea party is on the wane.
“I think the tea party’s dying out as the economy’s getting better slowly,” he added.