Searchlight, Nevada (CNN) - As thousands of Tea Party activists rally in his hometown of Searchlight, Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is burnishing his Second Amendment credentials.
Reid’s re-election campaign describes National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre as "one of the senator’s supporters." The two are at a $60 million Clark County shooting park which, according to the Reid campaign, wouldn't have opened without the senator’s help.
In a statement to CNN regarding Saturday’s Tea Party rally in his hometown, the Senate’s top Democrat said: "I'm happy so many people came to see my hometown of Searchlight and spend their out-of-state money especially in these tough economic times. Ultimately though this election will be decided by Nevadans, not people from other states who parachute in for one day to have a tea party."
Reid’s camp is trying to welcome the Tea Partiers. The Nevada State Democratic Party and the Reid campaign have set up a hospitality tent not far from the Tea Party rally site. "We are serving Tea and donut holes in recognition that Senator Reid just passed health care reform and we're closing the Medicare donut hole," says Zac Petkanas, deputy communications director of the Reid campaign. He adds it’s staffed, "with real Nevadans from Nevada and folks from Searchlight who support Reid."
The Nevada Democrats hold their big Jefferson Jackson dinner Saturday night where former Vice President Al Gore will be the keynote speaker.