December 7th, 2009
07:09 PM ET
10 months ago

Republicans rip Reid for slavery remarks

Harry Reid is being targeted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Harry Reid is being targeted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Washington (CNN) – Republicans on Monday were quick to pounce on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, for comparing the battle over health care to the battle over the legacy of slavery.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee purchased a Web ad on the popular Drudge Report asking readers: "Do you agree with Harry Reid?"

Those who click on the ad are taken to an NRSC Web site called "Health Care Task Force," which asks readers to sign a petition and "stand up to Harry Reid and his insulting remarks."

Reid, who is in danger of losing his re-election bid next year, made the remarks Monday morning on the floor of the Senate.

"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans can come up with is this: slow down, stop everything, let's start over," Reid said.

"If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said slow down, it's too early, let's wait, things aren't bad enough."


Filed under: Extra • Harry Reid • Health care • Nevada • Popular Posts
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Retired US Army Officer - Kansas

    It was a stupid remark by Reid and a even dumber jump on remark by the GOP. The GOP was once a progress party standing for something, today the GOP apperas to the the party of no and the party of fear. I am feed up with their antics and i am tired of politicians of trying to twist everything rather thanb do their jobs..

    December 7, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  2. John Mezger

    Senator Reid must be a product of a poor education system or else he failed to learn his American History. It was the Republicans who wanted to eliminate and did eliminate slavery throughout the country. The democratic platform was to either to keep slavery in the states that presently had slavery or to allow territories to determine for themselves if slavery was to be practiced, although there was a line drawn clear across the country the was to separate slave and free states, for example Arizona would have entered the union as a slave state according to this act of a democratic controlled senate at that time. Senator Reid must know his facts before he flaps his oversized mouth.

    December 7, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  3. David Moskowitz

    We are responsible for our own nightmare. We the electorate put these fools in office. It is up to us to get them out!

    December 7, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  4. Rick

    Funny, the heel-draggers Reid cites were all in the Democrat party. It was those fire-breathing "radical Republicans" who wanted to end slavery. Indeed, prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, the most famous commentary on the subject were the Lincoln-Douglass debates – with the Democrat Douglass not only supporting slavery, but defeating the abolitionist Republican Lincoln for the Senate seat from Illinois.

    December 7, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. BMorgan53

    Excuse Me Mr. Reid, but wasn't it the Democrat Party that supported slavery and opposed the Civil Rights Act.

    December 7, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  6. Jim

    The Republicans insist upon protecting the least important entities in the healthcare debate - the insurance agent and the insurance companies. Ask the Republicans this............why is the public option good enough for our veterans (VA Hospitals) but not goodx enough for all citizens?
    My statement is this............as a result of denying the public option, Republicans will be responsible for the death of some Americans.

    December 7, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  7. Donovan

    I agree with Harry Reid. This is just more false outrage by the republicans.

    December 7, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  8. TexEcon

    Interesting that you report, in a slightly negative tone, the Republican reaction to Reid's slavery statement. What is your take on Reid's statement itself?

    December 7, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. Andrew

    Didn't the Democrats support slavery before, during and after the Civil War? Oh the irony of Reid's ignorant comment. No doubt he will use the old liberal fail-safe "it was a poor choice of words." America de-throne this man!

    December 7, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  10. J

    What is the big deal people? Grow up – every educated person out there knows exactly what he meant. He was trying to make a point that this particular bill (fundamental reform) is similar to the abolition of slavery because of the monumental actions that have been required in order to pass it – courage, intellect, and common sense. This is an obvious attack and distortion of what was said. Both sides are guilty of this and it is time that it stops. It is embarrassing – the men and women who call themselves "statesmen" are nothing more than 5 year old children. Stop it! A true Statesman is one who puts the interest and welfare of the state above his own. Now – let's get on with the business of the state.

    December 7, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. Dan in San Marcos

    As shocking as his comments sound at first, Harry Reid is right! Social progress is the process of challenging and moving away from injustices in the status quo. Child labor laws, the right of women to vote, etc. etc. Reid's point isn't that health care is like slavery, it's that as people become more civilized and come to recognize the next "right thing to do", there will always be those who are doing just fine with the way things are and aren't interested in those who aren't doing so well. It is not just coincidental that the opponents of health care reform in Congress all have very nice health plans. If there were members of Congress who were denied health coverage, imagine how quickly the laws would change!

    December 7, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  12. Ndubueze Chuku

    I cannot agree more with you Senator Reid. You are absolutely right. Also when medicare was being passed, the same party fought vigorously against it and now they are parading themselves as if they care so much about it. We all know what they are for.

    December 7, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  13. Jean DeVries

    Harry Reid is a moron with this strawman attack. He just needs to go away. Nevada, PLEASE replace him!! ala SD Tom Daschle...

    December 7, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. T

    I just read what Ried said. I am not sure what is so offensive about this.

    Can a person actually feel offended just because a group tells them that is what is required to be part of their group?

    December 7, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. terry horn

    And hes gonna be running youre health care!

    December 7, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. Stewart

    Dems were on the wrong side of history for slavery and they are on the wrong side once again with health care!

    December 7, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. Todd

    Only a piece of human refuse like Reid would claim that economically enslaving people to pay for other peoples free stuff were acting like slave owners

    What an idiot

    December 7, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. Jason

    And then there was the Republican Party which was formed in direct opposition to slavery by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854... OH MY GOD! Reid, check your history again, please?

    December 7, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  19. EvidentlyNot

    Seems like Reid wouldn't want to draw attention to his own party's misbegotten position on slavery. It was Southern Democrats who "dug in their heels" not the GOP.

    December 7, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. Hillbillicus

    Well the Democrat's position reminds me of Marxism.

    December 7, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  21. diane

    i heard what reid said, all he said was, there were some who didnt want to do anything about slavery, let it go, we can deal with it later/ exactly, like there are some who dont want to do anything about health care for the american people, there are those that are fighting very hard to keep protecting the insurance companies instaed of doing what is right foe the american people. we need the public option.

    December 7, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  22. Jamie Busch

    Someone ought to remind the Senator that it was the Democratic Party that supported slavery, not the Republicans. The Republican Party was anti-slavery, and Lincoln's election was the last straw for slavery supporting Democrats in the South. Those Democrats in the North (especially in New York) supported the South's right to slavery long into the war, and were responsible for vicious lynchings there in opposing the draft.
    Check your history books. Check the party affiliations of every single Confederate of any stature. Ask yourself why the South did not elect a Republican to office for nearly 100 years after reconstruction.
    The Senator's twisting of history is Orwellian. It was his party, and people just like him who supported Slavery.

    December 7, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. The Veteran

    I am African American, and I don't think he was comparing Healthcare to Slavery. He was comparing certain people's reluctance to do the right thing, even when it is obvious that it is right. Nevada folks: Don't fall for the Republican mess. They couldn't care less about regular folks.

    December 7, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. Good on you Harry Reid

    Good Job Harry, call the repub's out on their lack of intelligence and their love of hatred. Oh and before you repub's try to come back and say that you have minorities in your party; well yes you have a few, key word a few. Once again, good on you Harry!

    December 7, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  25. C Ryan

    The irony in his remarks of course, is that government health care and indeed all progressive policy initiaives, enslaves all of us on the government plantation. Progressivism and Socialism is institutionalized economic and intellectual slavery! So Reid has got the whole thing backwards! Sounds like he needs rectal cranial reversal surgery.

    December 7, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
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