September 1st, 2009
09:49 AM ET
5 years ago

No love for Harry Reid on the Tea Party Express

Kareann Harris of Las Vegas shows her disapproval with Reid.
Kareann Harris of Las Vegas shows her disapproval with Reid.

Las Vegas, NEVADA (CNN) - As the Tea Party Express rolls out of Las Vegas, there is at least one person who may be glad to see it go: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"There's been kind of an underground gathering of opponents of Harry Reid," said Mark Williams, one of the organizers of the cross country conservative caravan that is making its way towards Washington.

Williams says that dislike of the Nevada Democrat is one of the key factors that is driving people to come out to the five Nevada stops on the tour. With Reid not being up for election until 2010, Williams says people are using the tea parties to come together and vent their frustration with the state's senior senator.

Protesters at a tea party event in Sparks, Nevada drew a rather unflattering caricature of the senator and taped it to the door of a port-a-pottie.

In Winnemucca, Nevada Deborah Johns, another tour organizer, won big applause when she brought up Reid.

"It's time to let Harry Reid know it's time to go back to searchlight," she said, referring to Reid's hometown in Nevada. "When he gets there the lights are going to be out."

In Las Vegas, Kareann Harris came out with a sign that read, "Harry wants Vegas Unemployed" on one side and "Las Vegas Wants Harry Unemployed" on the other.

"Harry Reid is doing nothing for the people here," she said. Harris also took issue with comments President Obama made in February disparaging companies receiving federal bailout money from traveling on corporate junkets to places like Las Vegas.

"You can't get corporate jets. You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer's dime," Obama said at a town hall then.

The president's comments worried many in Las Vegas, a city with an economy that relies heavily on tourism.

"When Barack Obama spoke against the city of Las Vegas Harry Reid laid down and took it," Harris said. "Harry should have stood up for us."

Barbara Goldman, a retired New York City teacher who now lives in Las Vegas, agreed with Harris.

"I don't like the fact that when Obama told corporations not to come here to do their conventions, [Reid] said nothing."

A registered Republican, Goldman said she voted for Reid in his last election - a decision she now regrets. Her sign was a bit more simple: "Dump Reid"

Meanwhile, Reid's office sent a young staffer, Sean Kennedy, on the road to trail the caravan as it made its way across the Silver State. He has videotaped each event.

Williams made a point of introducing Kennedy at each of the rallies and spoke directly into Kennedy's camera to address the Nevada senator.

"Your going down pal! This is our country, it's not your country, it's not your fiefdom Mr. Reid!" he said at the Winnemucca stop to much approval from the crowd.

Sharron Angle hitched a ride on the tea party express as it made its way to Las Vegas. She served four terms in the Nevada State Assembly and expects to run in next year's Republican Senate primary.

"He says he works hard for us but we have 13.1 percent unemployment right here in Las Vegas. We are down 27 percent in tourism," Angle after addressing the crowd at the Las Vegas stop.

Angle thinks that if she can tap into the passion on display at the tea parties she might have a chance against the top Democrat in the Senate.

"These are just regular folks," Angle said as she surveyed the crowd, "and they're not wanting to join the choir, they're wanting to join the army."

The tea party tour is now headed to Flagstaff, Arizona.


Filed under: Harry Reid • Tea Party Express
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. Dale

    Isn't is funny how these things are always "not about the Democrats" and "not about Obama," but there are always Republicans attached, trying to get votes? Seems they need to change the name to The Sucker Party.

    September 1, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. GetALife

    Excuse me but aren't we in a bit of a recession? Vegas expects the hotels to be full, expensive restuarants overbooked – give me a break! Tourism is down everywhere. And NO we don't want companies we taxpayers are bailing out nor the Federal Government having junkets in Vegas or anywhere else right now. It's not about common sense or taxes with these tea party folks. It's really "We lost the general election so we're going to oppose anything that the winners say or do"

    September 1, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Brian0901

    These Tea Party protestors are losers. Get a life, morons!

    September 1, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Wise Latina

    Harry "I hate smelly Americans" and believes that those of us who stand up and speak our minds in the best American tradition are "un-American" can just go back to Nevada to pursue those shady land deals with his sons. We need for him and many more in Washington to simply leave town quickly, while we still have a country worth saving....

    September 1, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. ron

    CNN has got to stop giving these people a forum. A couple of hundred people showed up and they describe it as an "underground movement"
    WOW !!! more people show up at a family picnic where I'm from.

    September 1, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Ensign is Mr. Family Values

    The Tea Party Express loves hypocritical wife-cheating C-Streeters like Ensign.

    September 1, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Robin

    Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank will all be voted out 2010.

    Along with a few Democratic govenors, like Jon Corzine.

    September 1, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. TangledThorns

    Ugh, I wish I didn't plan my vacation during the Tea Party rallies. I'm glad others are doing it though. Rock Against Taxes!!

    September 1, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. TomJay

    Good ole Harry has to learn to blame it all on Bush.

    September 1, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Thomas

    Then in 2010 the citizens can exercise their right to vote for someone else. In the mean time, quit whining.

    September 1, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Dorothy, Kentucky

    Isn't it just too curious that CNN knows all about what is going on with the Tea Party Express and has not even mentioned that there is another tour going on as well called Organizing for America, and drawing quite a crowd I might add. Anyone interested in what's going on on both sides please go to Huffington Post.

    September 1, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. Mark

    Reid really screwed up when he told that Las Vegas newspaper he hoped they went broke, I bet he won't get 20% of the vote next year.

    September 1, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Sam I Am

    Yes, this is the kind of political discourse we need in this country. Charicatures of politicians taped to porta potties. How OLD are these people??!?! Five?!?! Harry Reid is no prize, but if you want me to align with your political opinions, how about talking about the issues like adults? The only thing this kind of stuff does is alienates most Americans from these right wing nut jobs. Sadly, they're too stupid to even realize how stupid they are. Best of luck to yet another Republican-backed, "grass roots" (yeah, right) movement.

    September 1, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Beverly - NYC

    Las Vegas has 13.1% unemployment because in a tight economy no one with a brain is going to piss away their hard earned dollars on an overpriced room, beffets , and a slot machines. Your state is tourist dependent, deal with it !!! Boo Hoo AIG couldn't come go wild in Vegas on tax payer bailout money. If your state isn't able to lure in other compaines who didn't take bailout money to visit, again, it's not Washington's fault.

    September 1, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Nathan,

    These tea party people are a bunch of idiots.If you were to ask them what it is they're unhappy about you would get a bunch of conservative talking points rooted in nonsense. I guess conservatives don't care about morality anymore since they're not protesting against Cronym and that playboy governor of theirs. What a bunch of hypocrits.

    September 1, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. FRANK, Las Vegas

    Just another manufactured story about the tea party express. This so called event drew less than 200 people from an area of more than 1 million people. These right wing nuts hardly represent Las Vegas! These are the same loons that are against anything and everything that the democrats want to do, what they were elected to do with the peoples mandate. I have never seen such hate. Sure the GOP lost the elections and lost big, get over it. It's time for them to stand for what they claimed, "Country First", but they don't, it's "Party First' , and always has been with them.

    September 1, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. JonDie

    These same people voted for Bush's criminal enterprise in Iraq, that have cost more than a TRILLION dollars of deficit spending and which has gotten 50,000 US soldiers killed or wounded, and which was fought for the sole benefit of the military contractors and oil companies...and think nothing about it.

    Actually, these people don't actually think...EVER. They're the people Jesus was aiming for when He taught that the sheep is the MODEL for good human behavior.

    I'm reminded of a 60 Minutes interview with a Air Force guy who spends the day bombing the Taliban from drones during the day but is so proud because eats at home with his wife in the evening. WE ARE LOSING THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, and no military people, even our top leaders, actually get it. They seem to think that we can't lose because we have the best bombs.

    Ah, Generation W (for Walmart or for Dubya, take your pick), fighting wars, fighting wildfires in California, encarcerating criminals, it all free! Why should anyone pay taxes?

    September 1, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Larry

    Why doesn't the article state how many folks attended? I see about 25 people in the photo. If it's less than 0.5% of the local population, then this is not news, it's propaganda. And how is it Harry Reid's fault that 13% of Nevadans are unemployed. Sour grapes people, sour grapes. Act like adults and be constructive instead of negative and disruptive.

    September 1, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. j

    Looks like the Neo-Cons have a new cause.

    September 1, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  20. Russ

    It's so sad that most of these people don't have a clue as to what they are talking about. They heard someone say it so it must be true. The blind leading the blind. Ok, I apologize to the blind people. It's dumb Republicants leading dumb Republicants.

    September 1, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. America Shrugged

    Where were these hypocritical teagaggers when W started 2 wars, gave billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest in this country, medicare part B, TARP without any accountability, all on the credit card. They ought to get out their calculators and add it all up. They only come out from under their rocks when Dems are in charge. Not only is it lazy, but hypocritical.

    September 1, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. Open Your 3rd Eye

    I have never seen white folks protest so much in my life lol.

    You all look ridiculous!

    September 1, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Billy J the gambler

    Numbers please. That looks like a pretty small gathering. They can't even fill the parking lot. If I stand around with a sign in a parking lot with 50 other people, do I get to speak for an entire political party or state. Cool!

    September 1, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Ken

    I wish people who report on the so-called "cross country conservative caravan" would stop labeling it conservative. Most of the people in the caravan are NOT true conservatives. They are rightwing drama queens, who have fallen (many of them purposefully) for the mindless fearmongering being spewed from sources like the [R] leadership and their bullhorn FoxNews. Most of these people just don't like Obama and the [D]s in power, period, and their little show has little to do with any specific details of health care reform - the very fact that they choose to perform this little roadshow ruse cloaked in opposition to health care reform to mask their uber-partisan regressive political motives is itself VERY non-conservative behavior. This caravan, the rude shouters at the town halls, and the whole anti-intellectual culture permeating the remnant base of the [R] party is an anathema to true dialog in a democratic society and is an EMBARRASSMENT to true conservatives.

    September 1, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Texas Observer

    I am amazed that these Idiotic republicans have any time spouting off hate on these blogs. Shouldn’t they be spending their time developing a vaccine for the Swine flu, and other similar activities that they don’t want the socialistic government be part of. ‘We can take care of ourselves’….my foot. They will stand first in line to get these vaccines that the socialist govt. arranged for.

    When former president Reagen uttered that stupid comment about ‘Government is the problem’, I am sure he didn’t imagine how negatively that will affect our country for years to come. Our country is so backwards to entertain some of these Idiotic conservative ideas. Can’t wait for the next generation to get to Voting age!

    September 1, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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