June 30th, 2010
02:37 PM ET
4 years ago

Angle defends positions in interview, laughs off notion she's hiding in 'bunker'

 Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle spoke with well known Nevada political anchor John Ralston on Tuesday on the program, 'Face to Face.'
Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle spoke with well known Nevada political anchor John Ralston on Tuesday on the program, 'Face to Face.'

Washington (CNN) - The woman who wants to defeat the most powerful Democrat in the Senate has taken part in a rare interview as critics claim she's avoided reporters by hiding in an "underground bunker."

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle spoke with well known Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston on Tuesday on the program, "Face to Face." The interview was seen by KVBC Las Vegas and KRNV Reno viewers.

"She's been accused of hiding from all but friendly media, portrayed as a right wing kook by the Democrats and ridiculed on her positions from prisoner massages to prohibition," Ralston said in his introduction. The show host then said Angle would "clear the air" on what some consider her controversial positions.


Angle, who faces Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the general election, laughed off the notion that she's been hiding from reporters. She even issued a challenge to her opponent: "What I would like to see is Harry Reid come in to this studio – with you and I - and have a true debate…and on the issues," Angle said.

During the interview the Republican spent the better part of over 20-minutes beating back any notion that her views are out of the mainstream.

On the issues of Social Security and Medicare, Ralston reminded Angle of previous comments where she talked about "the idea of privatizing and [the government] getting out of Medicare and Social Security" before her June 8 GOP primary win. Ralston asked the candidate to reconcile those words with comments made after the election where Angle talked about locking "the lockbox" to protect Social Security.

Angle was emphatic that her statements were not contradictory.

"No I don't think so," Angle said. "You know, we have seniors that are counting on Social Security. They have paid in good faith into a Social Security lockbox, figuring that there would be money there to pay for their retirement as they go forward. And yet we know that that lockbox has actually been raided and pillaged by Harry Reid and his cronies there in Washington, D.C. so that all that is left is IOUs."

Angle went on to explain that the government must keep its "contract" with seniors, but that a threatened Social Security system might not work best for younger workers.

"We need to allow them to personalize and that's just kind of an expanded way of saying that sometimes you can do it through a privatized manner or sometimes you can do it like they did through the federal government," Angle said.

On the issue of jobs, Angle was reminded of her remarks at a recent campaign event where she said: "People ask me, 'What are you going to do to develop jobs in your state?' Well, that's not my job as a U.S. Senator, to bring industry to the state. That's the Lieutenant Governor's job. That's your State Senator's and Assemblyman's job. That's your Secretary of State's job to make a climate here in this state, y'all come."

Ralston asked Angle why, then, she often slams Reid for Nevada's high unemployment rate.

"Certainly the job of a U.S. Senator is to create a climate that will be conducive to creating jobs, which means lower taxes and less government regulation," Angle told Ralston. "But what Harry Reid has been doing is putting forward those policies that actually put more regulation on business. [The new health care legislation] 'Obamacare,' for one, has put in so many regulations now that they're having to choose and they're choosing that they cannot provide jobs."

Angle was also asked to explain her recent comments that unemployment benefits "have spoiled our citizenry."

"The system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job," the Republican said. Angle proposes a system where unemployment benefits are cut so that they do not pay more than many low-paying jobs. Angle said that workers are being forced to choose between a low-paying job - and jobless benefits that pay more. She advocated an idea to supplement jobs that have small incomes with dramatically reduced unemployment benefits.

The Reid campaign, which has closely watched Angle's public words, saw the interview as another opportunity to cast Angle as far outside the mainstream.

In a statement, Reid's campaign said, "Last night, Sharron Angle emerged briefly from her underground bunker to appear on Face to Face with Jon Ralston." It went on to call Angle "generally incoherent" on issues like Social Security and unemployment benefits.

But it was especially critical of Angle's view on the separation of church and state, which Angle believes is an unconstitutional doctrine. She explained by mentioning the famous letter from 1802 that a founding father wrote on the matter.

"Thomas Jefferson was actually addressing a church and telling them, through his address, that there had been a wall of separation put up between the church and the state precisely to protect the church...from being taken over by a state religion," Angle said. "And that's what they meant by that."

She continued: "They [the nation's Founders] didn't mean that we couldn't bring our values to the political forum. And it didn't mean that people with religious beliefs shouldn't have that freedom."

On those words, the Reid campaign pounced.

"For someone who so often invokes the Constitution to rationalize her extreme and dangerous agenda, you would think Sharron Angle would have some familiarity with its contents," its statement said.

"It's shocking to hear Sharron Angle say that separation of church and state is not part of the Constitution, given that it's spelled out so explicitly in the First Amendment," the statement added.


Filed under: 2010 • Harry Reid • Nevada • Sharron Angle
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Julia- Idaho Native American

    Just another Palin clone, this woman is crazy as a peach orchard boar.

    June 30, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. "the surge has failed" -- dingy Harry

    For the sake of our country, Reid MUST be defeated!

    June 30, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Big Ed

    Every time she opens her mouth, you never know which side of the issue she is going to change to. She is an opportunist and a novice.

    June 30, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. AEK

    I know that Nevada can be a little "rural" but with Las Vegas and Reno, I would think that this lady might have some clue as to what's actually going on out there in the world. Guess not!

    June 30, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Tj

    I've seen the interview....and she is worst than Palin.NV if you think that she going to bring JOBS to your state.THINK AGAIN. She don;t know anything SISTER ANGLES AND SISTER PALIN TWO PEAS IN A POT. She is a JOKE

    June 30, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Angle is an off-the-charts paranoid megalomaniac. The only thing that is scarier than that is the fact that there are poeple like that clown that calls himself Obozo something or other on this site that would actually vote for her Royal Mindless.

    June 30, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. proud dem in nc

    Geez, I thought Palin, Beck and Limbum were bad. This woman is looney toones. She is three sheets to the wind. No wonder the right wing extremists love her.

    June 30, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Nick

    People of NV, please vote for anyone but Reid.

    June 30, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Independent_me

    This crazy woman identifies herself as a Christian in the interview – as are other off the hook Republicans... These are not Christians. Christians are not supposed to lie, spread hate or endorse violence.

    Even Christ Himself eschewed violence when Peter drew his sword to protect him from the Roman soldiers. These people are wolves in sheep's clothing. They are the tares among the wheat. They think that by simply declaring themselves to be Christians that many weak Christians will follow them. These are really evil people who are purveyors of hate. They are against the teachings of Christ, and are therefore anti-Christ.

    June 30, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Sean

    She really is a kook and this interviewed only helped to make that clear.

    June 30, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. vp

    "And yet we know that that lockbox has actually been raided and pillaged by Harry Reid and his cronies there in Washington, D.C. so that all that is left is IOUs."

    I'm sorry, say that again, WHO raided the lock box?

    The lockbox was emptied during the last decade of Republican rule.
    Did you miss the Great Recession?

    June 30, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Marcus

    She continued: "They [the nation's Founders] didn't mean that we couldn't bring our values to the political forum. And it didn't mean that people with religious beliefs shouldn't have that freedom."

    That's true. If you want to vote for a guy or gal because he/she is 'Christian enough' for you, no problem. If you don't want to vote in him or her because he/she is not 'Christian enough', no problem either.
    YOU have the right to base your choices in the voting booth in whatever reasons you can come up with, including religion.
    What she forgets is that the same applies to that guy/gal who is not Christian (or not of the branch of Christianism that you/she follow(s)) and has the right to do EXACTLY the same thing.
    To the individuals, Religion may or may not matter in their daily lives.
    To the government, Religion may help or hinder the work of the one who's in charge, but it CANNOT become part of the government itself.

    June 30, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. katiec

    If anyone wants further proof that this woman is an irresponsible, radical, not the most intelligent person on this planet, watch Rachel Maddow tonight for parts of her interview. She says her actual statements were misconstrued, that a senator's job is not to create jobs, but rants against Reid because he has not, American people are lazy for drawing unemployment rather than finding jobs, etc.
    She goes on and on and digs herself deeper in the hole of incompetence.
    If the voters of Nevada continue to support her they deserve what they get.

    June 30, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Howard

    It is mind boggling that the unnamed spokesperson from the Reid campaign can make such a preosterous claim. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution or in the First Amendment that even implies that there is a "separation" that would prevent, for example, school prayer or Nativity scenes in town squares during Christmas. Ms. Angle's explanation is 100% accurate.

    June 30, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. ETM

    I hope Harry Reid wins this one. He is not the best senator, but he is vastly superior to Angle and her far-right views.

    June 30, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Harry Reid's Defeat Was A Slam Dunk . . .

    Until the GOP picked a crazy as their candidate.

    "Snatching Defeat Out of The Jaws of Victory"

    June 30, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. snow

    Reid,pelosi and nobummer are the ones that need to climb back under the rock they came out from under. We can no longer afford their excessive spending.

    June 30, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. John Burt

    I gather she wants to walk back her comment about "taking out" Harry Reid. But what can "seeking a 2nd Amendment Solution" mean other than "let's shoot the Democrats if we lose"?

    June 30, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Bill

    Reid will chew this bimbo up and spit her out in no time. Bring her on!

    June 30, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. ETM

    Everything she says is contradictory. If you allow young workers to pull out of Social Security, then there would be nothing for older workers. Harry Reid is responsible for employment in NV but she wouldn't be if elected to replace him. Separation of Church and State is only to protect churches, so build half a wall.
    She is nothing but an ideological bubblehead.

    June 30, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. MR AMERICA

    This nut will lose. Next story.

    June 30, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Bubba

    Wow, she really doesn't get separation of church and state, does she? I thought this would be just more campaign stuff, but she really doesn't understand, and she's running for office. Scary stuff.

    June 30, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. MR AMERICA

    Correction...this high-strung, wacky, shrill, confused, uneducated, pathetic, bigoted, foolish nut will lose. End of story.

    June 30, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Dwayne

    The seperation of church and state is NOT explicitly stated in the constitution. Of course, Harry Reid and Democrats exploit the ignorance of the public for votes.
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." –this is where that principal is derived. It does reflect the protection of religion from government. It DOES NOT state that people shouldnt use religion in their governing.

    Harry Reid is an idiot. He needs to go, but perhaps the republicans could have nominated someone with a little more political savvy.

    June 30, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Alex, MI

    How is it that when asked what Sharron Angle would do as a U.S. Senator to create jobs in Nevada, she explains that it would not be her job and to in essence blame a whole list of other people for the high unemployment. However, when asked why she attacks Harry Reid over the high unemployment rate in Nevada, she explains that it is the US Senators job to create an environment that will create jobs.

    Sharron Angle said in two back to back statements that it both is and is not the job of the US Senator from Nevada to create jobs in Nevada. Which is it?

    June 30, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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