April 20th, 2010
07:24 PM ET
5 years ago

Top Democrat held Wall Street fundraiser


Washington (CNN) – National Republicans slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the Nevada Democrat acknowledged Tuesday that he held a fundraiser on Wall Street earlier this year.

Reid's rhetoric has been replaced by the "stench of hypocrisy," said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

President Obama made ties to Wall Street a political issue late last week when he personally singled out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, for their recent meeting with Wall Street leaders. Cornyn is the chairman of the NRSC, the campaign arm for Senate Republicans.

In his Internet and radio address released Saturday, Obama claimed that McConnell and Cornyn held the meeting in order to talk about how to block progress on financial regulatory reform legislation.

Appearing on CNN Sunday, McConnell denied Obama's accusation, but Democrats have continued to hammer Republicans over their ties to Wall Street and the GOP's objections to the current version of the reform legislation under consideration in the Senate.

Asked about reports that he held a Wall Street fundraising event, Reid defended his legislative efforts to put tighter controls on large financial institutions.

"Well first of all, everything that we have done on this legislation is about as transparent as it can be," Reid said. "I think that it's pretty clear that I'm leading the effort to rein in Wall Street, to make them more accountable and end the 'too big to fail' and while Republicans it seems are leading the efforts to leave things just the way they are. Wall Street is responsible for our economic disaster and we must hold them accountable."

Reid walked away and did not respond when asked by CNN for more information about the fundraiser.

After the news conference, Reid spokesman Jim Manley confirmed that the senator held a fundraiser on Wall Street in mid-January. The event took place at a New York City restaurant and attended mostly by executives of Goldman Sachs, the powerful investment bank recently sued with civil fraud. Reid raised approximately $37,000 at the event, Manley also told CNN.

But Manley sought to distinguish Reid's meeting with Wall Street executives with the McConnell-Cornyn meeting highlighted by Democrats.

"After Senator McConnell meets with Wall Street executives, he goes to the floor of the Senate to call for protecting them and watering down efforts to hold Wall Street accountable," Manley said. "After Senator Reid met with Wall Street executives, he brought up a bill to hold Wall Street accountable and put consumers back in control. That's a big difference, and it clearly shows that Senator Reid is standing up for middle class families while Senator McConnell is covering for banks and Wall Street."

But Walsh called Reid a hypocrite after it was acknowledged he held a Wall Street fundraiser.

"As he collects Wall Street cash behind closed doors and pretends to advocate for Main Street in public, Reid's partisan rhetoric has quickly been replaced with the stench of hypocrisy," Walsh said.

Updated: 9:14 p.m.


Filed under: Harry Reid • NRSC • Popular Posts • Wall Street
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. mary

    What makes Obama the expert? A man who never held a job, but holds office, still is no expert.

    April 20, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Willy Brown

    Hippy Harry is a loser who will be jobless in November 2010

    April 20, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Dan, TX

    Since it is the republicans that are protecting Wall Streeters against having to show what they are doing to the public, I'm going to be more suspicious of the republicans than the democrats.

    April 20, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. m smith

    The stench belongs to Walsh and his party of NO

    April 20, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Dan, TX

    Walsh is clearly a mean and illogical man. Scary.

    My Senator is John Cornyn. I will be voting for whoever is not John Cornyn in the next election, primary, and then if he's still in it, the general.

    April 20, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Operation Crush Rush

    We dont trust Cornyn as far as we can throw him.He is the spokesman for Haliburton,ExxonMobil and the Sword Makers in Texas.

    April 20, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. Obama the Liar

    Obama at his finest....accuse, accuse and then let the twit gibbs deny.

    April 20, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    As much as I am enjoying the *tit-for-tat*, the fact remains that it is the Democrats who have a regulatory reform bill ready for vote, and it is the GOP who are stalling and delaying passage, very much in the same way as they did Health Care Reform.

    Simply put, one party is in bed with Wall Street, one party isn't. We'll leave it to the people to decide who is - and who isn't - shall we?

    April 20, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. DianeRPCFL

    The only stench I smell is the Gutless Ones trying to distract from their complicity in protecting their Wall Street buddies at all costs. Here's some of their stench for you: Republican Phil Gramm in 2000 introduced legislation called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that allowed the creation of the exotic financials that allowed the fraud that Goldman Sach committed.

    April 20, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    This is fact:

    "After Senator McConnell meets with Wall Street executives, he goes to the floor of the Senate to call for protecting them and watering down efforts to hold Wall Street accountable," Manley said. "After Senator Reid met with Wall Street executives, he brought up a bill to hold Wall Street accountable and put consumers back in control. That's a big difference, and it clearly shows that Senator Reid is standing up for middle class families while Senator McConnell is covering for banks and Wall Street."

    'Nuff said.

    April 20, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. Hammerer

    And only 80% of Americans do not trust Washington.
    The other 20% have their head in the sand!

    April 20, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Carmelle

    Dems fundraise with WS and come out with a bill that reforms derivatives and adds a CFPA - and support the Volcker rule to break the banks – All of which WS is sending 1500 lobbyist and executives to Congress tomorrow to fight.

    Repubs fundraise with WS and come out to say that they are stopping the bill from even making it to the floor FOR DEBATE. Not no on the vote, but no on even debating it!! They cover that under "let's go back to the drawing board, although Sen Shelby and Coker have been at the drawing board.

    I personally think that Dems need to take a stand and refund all the contributions from WS, including President Obama. However, repubs, you have no ground. You just lie all the time and want to keep the status as if it was better than what the bill is and can become.

    April 20, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. vvf

    Hey, would it kill you guys to at least mention that Wall Street and their lobbyists are fervently OPPOSING the Democrats' legislation in the Senate? I guess that's too much to ask.

    April 20, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Kathleen

    Please vote McConnell and Cornyn out of office. McConnell and Cornyn will NEVER be "for the people". They never were and they have displayed that many, many times. I don't know how these crooks even got in office in the first place. Boehner too! Get them out. Please!

    I would still vote for Harry Reid.As this article states, Harry Reid bought up a bill to hold Wall Street accountable and put the consumers back in control. Nevada needs to keep Reid in office.

    April 20, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. Ryan

    GOP would know hypocrisy.

    Actually it sounds to me like Goldman Sachs got played for suckers, donated to the democrats thinking they could be bought off like republicans. However if said money was unknowingly fraud-profit then it should be returned to the original investors (not sachs).

    April 20, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. chris

    Constructive criticism has always been better than simple criticism... is that not part of the "Family Values" cult?

    April 20, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Jerry - Florida

    Oh well... Lies, lies and more lies. What did you expect from President NObama, Reed, etc., etc.

    April 20, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Fed Up

    Nice. And a White House lawyer is now working for Sachs. Gotta love these politicians. Vote 'em in. Vote'em out.

    April 20, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. phoenix86

    WHAT, a democrat is a hypocrite? Say it ain't so!!!!

    April 20, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. John

    The stench doesn't come from those accepting the money, it comes from the republicans blocking meaningful reforms of those Wall Street thieves.

    The bankers try to spread the donations around but, mostly they contribute to republicans and those republicans are taking care of their Wall Street friends.

    April 20, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  21. proud mother and sister of soldiers

    Weren't the dems worried their attack on Wall Street would come back to bite them? Obama got contributions from Goldman Sachs and now we have Reid. What hypocracy!

    April 20, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. rdepontb

    Bad show, Harry. Really.

    April 20, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |