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.
Hiding in a bunker – she is a bunker – she's a female "Archie Bunker".
So.... Sharron Angle would like Harry Reid to be associated with debating a "Kook". I'm not sure I see the upside of being seen trying to have a rational conversation with a lunatic.
Nice try, Sharron. But your STILL a kook.
This lady is a joke. I went to watch her give a speech and she is the new definition for CLUELESS!!!
Nevada will NEVER vote her in. NEVER, EVER EVER!
Please, Harry Reid, come to the studio and debate this clown. Ask her about her goofy tea party views. Expose her idiocy for everything that it is.
This idiot Angle does not even know that most states have the law that supplements low paying jobs with reduced unemployment benefits (Illinois does). If Nevada does not that is the state of Nevada's problem, not the federal government. Is she running for Governor or Senator? Maybe she is a little confused.
Angle is just like the rest of the republicans. They talk about regulations like it is a dirty word. Think back to when the airline industry and the utilities were regulated. You didn't see them going belly up or having money troubles did you? Service was great and the planes were on time. Electric and gas was delivered with no problems whatsoever. Can you say that now? I bet not.
Remember, Angle, it was not just Reid that looted Social Security. This goes way back to Nixon. There have been a lot of republican administrations and republican congresses since then. Be very careful how you cast blame. You are hoping to serve with a lot of those "cronies" on your side of the isle.
This right wing nut of a female is really scary. If she gets elected Nevada will be in big trouble.
I fear for our country that Republicans in NV have nominated someone who can't beat Harry Reid and that treasonous scum bag is going to get back to office and inflict even more damage to our country.
It went on to call Angle "generally incoherent" on issues like Social Security and unemployment benefits
Yep, incoherent about covers it. Her entire interview was incoherent. Then again, GOPers have all become incoherent of late.
Guess Angle doesn't want us to have our cake and eat it too. Too much spoilage, not enough supplement, I expect.
A debate would be great. Senator Reid would knock her socks off. This Tea Party person would destroy senior citizens, destroy social security, medicare, and eliminate the EPA. She has no idea on how to govern for ALL the people not just the right wing nuts!
Would someone please tell me what planet this woman came from???
If this idiot is the best our country can do, we are really in big do-do.
this nut job is an absolute joke! i saw that interview and every single topic she contradicted herself! u republicans and your party sure are some pretty pathetic people with absolutely no solutions or problem solving!
This is what freaks do, when they get called out on their crap, they laugh it off while the nation suffers, remember all those Bush smirks?
She is as stupid, incompetant and unable to put a phrase together
as Palin. Palin, of course, looks a lot better and younger!
We dont need any tea party racists like you, Sarah anywhere near washington.
Don't say it's the Senate's resposibility to create jobs until you get there and suddenly the burden's on the state gov't. Pick one, it can't be both. Picking at her unemployment comment is too easy, but that said calling 14% of a voterbase lazy and co-dependant isn't a good way to win elections. When even the hawkiest of deficit hawks can't defend what you say, you have officially said something you shouldn't have.
Also, stop smiling. You look like The Joker.
she's a freak
This is what we get when we don't pay attention to what these people stand for. Those of us who do pay attention saw her coming from miles away. Good luck to all you Nevada Republicans. And please, dear God, pay attention next time around. This lady is nuts, and you should have known it.
Jeeez! This woman is just plain stupid - makes me want to move to Nevada to run against her! Perhaps this idea of giving people a voice is a mistake - just not enough of them who are equipped with "critical thought" abilities . . . .
Anti-incumbency is understandable, but replacing incumbents with wackos is another thing.
Why would any party nominate a person so clearly unfit for public office?
Angle wants to put an end to SOCIAL SECURITY...nuff said!
Listening to Angle is like hearing a character in Dr. Strangelove... She is
even more frightening than Palin in many ways.
what a DOPE
Wow, she really doesn't know what the heck she's talking about. But that won't stop "dem god fearin, git yer gubment hands off my Medicare" Tea Baggers from voting for her. Pathetic.
This is the best of the Tea Party? A moron who won't talk to the press unless it's Fox. She is a total contradiction of herself. Wants to repeal medicare, alcohol is Vegas (???), no abortion even if rape or incest was the cause since it's "Part of God's Plan", another Christian who are just the angriest people that I've ever seen. Maybe the medical knowledge that we have in order to do abortions on people who were raped is also part of "God's Plan". Did she ever think of that?
She said last night that it's not her job to bring jobs to the state, and then slams Harry Reid for not bringing enough jobs to the state...in the same sentence! No idea what she's talking about.
She is an idiot with dangerous ideas and so is anyone who votes for her.
The First Amendment, Harry Reid, prohibits the ESTABLISHMENT of A RELIGION or the PROHIBITION thereof. It says nothing about banning every mention of God from the public sphere, as you'd like it to. The facts are stacked with Ms. Angle on this one...