Reid Offers Surprise Support for Ryan as Speaker
Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid surprised critics when he backed Rep. Paul Ryan for House Speaker on Tuesday.
Talking to the media, he described himself as a “Paul Ryan fan.”
“He appears to me to be one of the people over there that would be reasonable. I mean look at some of the other people,” Reid said. “I don’t agree with him on much of what he does. I think what he’s done with Medicare and Medicaid, what he’s wanted to do I disagree with. But generally speaking we’ve been able to work with him.”
Indeed, Ryan’s work with Reid lieutenant Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on a two-year budget deal in 2013 remains a bipartisan highlight for a Congress otherwise beset by gridlock. But did Reid hurt Ryan by praising him?
The Nevada Democrat shrugged when asked if he was giving Ryan a kiss of death as the Wisconsin lawmaker weighs a speakers bid amid ever-growing criticism from the right for his policy positions. (Later Tuesday, Ryan said he would serve as speaker if the caucus unites behind him.)
“I just speak the truth,” Reid said. “If it helps him fine, if it doesn’t that’s too bad.”
Photo credit: AZ Central.