WASHINGTON – To those who have watched Harry Reid over the years, the insult he lodged at the expense of House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday was hardly a surprise.
“I don’t understand his brain,” Reid responded on Thursday when a reporter asked him about Boehner’s earlier statements about the fiscal cliff crisis.
The reporters in attendance laughed at Reid’s remark. It fit in nicely into the long tradition of the majority leader getting personal with those he disagrees with.
Among Reid’s insults over the years: He once called former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan “one of the biggest political hacks we have here in Washington.” He referred to Marine Gen. Peter Pace as “incompetent” and his Republican Senate colleagues as “49 puppets” controlled by George W. Bush.
Discussing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2004, Reid said: “I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. … I think that his opinions are poorly written.” As for former President George W. Bush? “I think this guy is a loser,” Reid said in 2005.
Reid later apologized for his “loser” remark. But in 2008, he was at it again when his Senate colleague, Arizona Sen. John McCain, was running for president as a Republican.
“I can’t stand John McCain,” he admitted in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
He hasn’t always limited his insults to those in politics. He once famously made a dig at the tourists inside the Capitol.
“You can always tell when it is summertime because you can smell the visitors,” Reid said in 2008. “The visitors stand out in the high humidity, heat, and they sweat. There is no place for them to go.”
And members of the media have also been at the receiving end of his insults. Frustrated, he once asked a reporter if she “spoke English.”
“Turn up your Miracle Ear,” he said.