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.
This woman's whole platform is don't ask me, ask Harry Reid! She is dangerous and Nevadians should take a very realistic close look at her and what she stands for. Harry may not be perfect, but in this case I will take the devil I know vs. the devil I don't know, her horns looks bigger.
She is fit to be Vice President when Sara Palin is President.
That's one crazy heffer
WHAT.....Just another Repubican that flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.
What can you say she's a Palin dope and probably will be elected.
More than once I have heard this women say one thing, then when questioned, insist that she never said what she just said. Job creation in not her problem, Social Security needs to be abolished, the EPA should be abolished, unemployment, you name it. Can’t pin this women down. Because what she really meant was… Blah, Blah, Blah! And I don’t even like Harry Reid! But this fruitcake was the best candidate the Republican’s could put up?
Yet another right wing nut job. Boy, oh boy, are they coming out of the woodwork. Yo Nevada – vote for Harry Reid. This woman is NUTS!
This is what happens when people don't trust Gov. unquified people running for office....She is not ready for any office.......
This moron is the best the Republiban can field in Nevada...
Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle.
Look, I'm a raging liberal, but if the Democratic party were offering a slew of candidates who refused to answer questions from anyone other than MSNBC and Huffington Post, there is no way in hell I'd vote for any of them.
I'll never understand why Republicans are so enthralled by candidates whose positions must be kept as secret as possible.
"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,"
Of course...purposeful misconstrual of what Jefferson said is to be expected. The First Amendment was specifically worded in the manner it was...i.e., a prohibition on government making any law "respecting an establishment of religion"...to both keep government out of religion and to keep religion out of government, which is what is meant when one refers to "state religion." Just as the governmetn should not be invading and co-opting a religion, neither should religion do so to our government. They are NOT good bed buddies. The purpose is to keep every man and woman in this country free to believe as they wish...and free to act according to those beliefs. When one religion is allowed to invade and pervade our laws and system of government...when the dogma and tenets of that religion are written into our law...then you have infringement upon the religious freedom of those who do not follow that religion. Besides, Jefferson made quite clear in other writings that he believes the Catholic church to be a greedy sham that subverted the true meaning of the Bible and the teachings of Christ in order to manipulate and control the masses and gather power and wealth for itself. It's almost literally what he said.
Moreover, her misinterpretation of Jefferson's statements are moot in light of SCOTUS precedent. She can shut up any day now unless she'd like to pay for someone to massage my temples to rid me of the headaches her kind of uninformed ideologue nonsense talk/thinking engenders. "November can't come soon enough."
This woman is a nut case. Is there still a looney bin in Sparks? She should be put there before she hurts herself.
so is she gonna use the 2nd amendment strategy to stop the separation of church and state? how ez to just pick and choose what she likes and dislikes about the cornerstone of our nation.
yea she is a scary one indeed.
The air was clear when Angle hid and now she will reappear to pollute when she opens her stupid mouth.
If she's not in hiding, she should be...
Go Angle!!! Reid, your days are numbered.
Any Questions left unanswered by those who will cast a vote has all been answered...Thanks Sharon for the interview.... **But it was especially critical of Angle's view on the separation of church and state, which Angle believes is an unconstitutional doctrine.***....Sharon, really?
Separation of church and state is included in the first amendment? Come on, CNN, your average 5th grader knows that is not true. Google it, if you're too lazy to do any further fact checking. Here's a hint to get you started: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Period. See OTHER works of Thomas Jefferson for your separation of church and state rhetoric, but you won't find that phrase anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.
This woman with such intellectual powers should be Sister Sarah's VP running Mate in 2012, you betcha' !
This woman is whacked. Anybody that votes for her is an imbacile, a moron or both
Privatize Social Security? Right – and what did the DJIA do today, go up?
If those "younger generations" that didn't have the opportunity to have Social Security only had "private accounts" they would be wiped out, on the streets, goin' hungry. Nice vision for America you have there you witch...
And like any good delusional Talibangelical who thinks this nation "was founded as a christian nation" she can't think straight – or chooses not to.
This nation was "settled" by ALL different religous persuasions not just her version of what "christians" are. BIG difference – "settle by" and "established as" but like all the "good christians" she keeps pandering to for votes, she's more like the anti-christ than a christian.
Our founding fathers were dead set against making the constitution a document that religious zealots like Angle or Sister Sarah could use to advance their political careers by mandating laws that reflect their ideas of "bein' good christians" – That's why it sways so in the VERY FIRST amendment!
Why do Republicans have to "hide"? Is it a fear of people knowing the truth about them? Dick Cheney spent virtually his whole tenure in a secret undisclosed location invisible to the media. Now Angle and Rand Paul only appear on Cluster Fox News so they don't have to answer questions from a REAL journalist. Who knows maybe they'll ask such tough LIBERAL MEDIA questions such as where they get their news from.
I'm crying! This lady is a serious candidate? A letter from 1802 is what's she's citing for seperation of church and state. Hey Angle, 2 centuries have passed!!! It's time to wake up and face reality, ya kook. OMG, my stomach hurts from laughing at her responses. Here I was worried about Reid being re-elected.
smaller government! Less taxes! Oh you republicans are all kooks!! any new brainbusters? Nope, just ideas from 1802. haha!
Her idea on unemployment and underemployment assistance is interesting. However, subsidizing low income wages is not really the decrease in Government involvement in private matters that the GOP and Tea Partiers are looking for. It would after all be paid for by higher taxes or more national debt.
She has a logical position?
you are missing the point Mr. Reid....and by the way....
you have ZERO chance this November..... put a fork in him....