WASHINGTON – Breaking from the typical collegial atmosphere of the Senate, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid continued to insult Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday, condescendingly referring to the lawmaker while speaking to reporters as “the very junior senator from Texas.”
“We’ve known for years that the tea party has full control of the House,” the Nevada Democrat continued. “But now we understand they have full control of the Republican caucus here in the Senate.”
Reid’s comments come a day after attacking the freshman Republican as a “schoolyard bully.” The Democratic leader became frustrated with Cruz for objecting to starting the process of reconciling the House and Senate’s proposed budget over concerns about whether taxes or the debt ceiling will be increased.
During his weekly press availability on Tuesday, Reid lamented that, “We’ve heard a lot from the very junior senator from Texas.”
It’s typical to refer to lawmakers as either a “senior” or “junior” senator.
While personal attacks directed at fellow lawmakers are rare, Reid has the uncanny ability to launch such insults and get away with it. (RELATED: Harry Reid’s history of launching personal attacks)
“I don’t understand his brain,” Reid said in November about Speaker of the House John Boehner. 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 then-President 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.
In an interview with TheDC last month, Cruz said he never resorts to personal attacks against his opponents.
“There have been some attacks leveled my way,” Cruz said. “And I have consistently declined to reciprocate or to speak ill of any other senator but instead to stay focused on the substance.”