Add another line to the list of memorable quotes from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
On Monday, the Nevada Democrat was on the Senate floor defending Democrat-backed campaign-finance legislation known as the DISCLOSE Act when he uttered the following thought (the relevant passage starts at the 8:00 mark in this C-SPAN video):
“Perhaps Republicans want to shield a handful of billionaires willing to contribute nine figures to sway a close presidential election. … If this flood of outside money continues, the day after the election 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they just bought the country. That’s a sad commentary.
“About 60 percent, or more, of these outside dollars are coming from these 17 people…”
In a world of highly calibrated political messaging, it would be difficult to find a politician less likely to deliver safe, poll-tested lines than Reid, who has raised eyebrows with statements like the one in 2008 in which he said then-presidential candidate Barack Obama benefited from having “no Negro dialect.” Then there’s the one from 2005, when he called President George W. Bush a “loser.”
Reid didn’t name names when it came to the 17, but he apparently was referring to a March 2012 Politico story which cited the donors including Foster Friess, who during the GOP primaries supported Rick Santorum, and Sheldon Adelson, who dumped tens of millions into a superPAC backing Newt Gingrich.