Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - Elusive Republican Senate Candidate Sharron Angle accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's campaign of running a "fear and smear" campaign in the face of her surging candidacy, in a rare interview Wednesday.
"The message has certainly changed from hope and change to 'fear and smear'," Angle said.
Angle was speaking to a Mormon business group Wednesday but the campaign had not publicized the engagement. After CNN took up position at the event's entrance, the candidate went in another door. Eventually her staff came outside to grant a short interview.
The Republican candidate for Senate disavowed comments from a pastor at the church she belonged to for a decade, who said he believed Mormonism – Sen. Reid's religion – is a cult. She says she told the luncheon crowd, “that I should not be held responsible for other people's comments, that I do not believe that anybody should be persecuted nor ridiculed for their faith, that we all have a First Amendment right to worship as we please.”
She quoted scripture telling CNN, “First John 5:10 that says anyone who believes in the son of God has his testimony in the heart and I do not judge the testimony of anyone's heart.”
Asked for the source of her belief that two U.S. cities – Dearborn, Michigan and Frankford, Texas– are under Sharia law, the sacred law of Islam, the Republican candidate for Senate told CNN, "All I had was just some articles that I read," adding "I am of course not an expert on what goes in any municipality but certainly I believe in freedom of religion. None should be persecuted for their religion."
Dearborn's mayor called the charge at the time "irresponsible". Angle declined to explain possible remedies she would pursue if there is Sharia law in the U.S.
Her opponent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has posted a web ad accusing Angle of being “crazy”. Angle suggested her prodigious fundraising proves voters have rejected that claim.
"I have the largest fundraising numbers in the history of a senate race in the US so I think the people have spoken about the candidacy."
According to her campaign, Angle raised $14.3 million dollars in the third quarter. Her aides say ninety four percent of all contributions were from donors who gave $100 or less and totaling 194,000 individuals.
In a separate interview with CNN, Reid responded. "This election is not going to be decided by how much money someone raises.”
Angle laughed when confronted with Former President Bill Clinton's comments that a vote for her would be "negligent" saying she did not know how to respond in that context, "He has a right to his opinion."
Angle denies changing her position on Social Security and Medicare – she once advocated privatizing both. Angle says of her current views, “I didn’t change my position. What I have had is more information on that position.”
She says she now believes all Americans should be offered the option of choosing privatized accounts. Telling CNN “All I’m saying is that we need to give people the option of a personalized Social Security retirement account that they can have as a benefit and an asset themselves.”
As for the charge of "fear and smear," Reid did not back away from his ads blasting Angle:
"I've been disappointed in this election cycle," Reid said, pointing out the third party ads are having a big impact on the process.
Asked whether he believe she would be dangerous in the U.S. Senate, Reid demurred: "She would certainly be extreme."
“Somebody who has long standing views not for days, weeks, not for months but for years, and she has been very proud of how she has talked about getting rid of the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, privatizing the Veterans Administration,” he told CNN. “Her ideas are extreme, and in my contrast ads I talk about what she has said, these are her words. I haven’t made them up. You hear her saying with her own lips and mouth.”
I hope Angle is not elected, but I'm glad I don't live in a state where I'd have to vote for Reid to stop her.
Angle is another punishing reaction to our tragic error in electing Obama as president.
STOP THIS IDIOT! How did the fine people of Nevada allow her to become a noinee.
It 's not too late to assure yourselves proper representation in the Senate- vote for Harry!
14.3 miliion in one quarter. More then any other senator in history. Hmmmmmm I wonder how much Karl Rove and the Chamber of Commerce had to do with this?
Buh bye Hippy Harry. Go smear somebody else like yourself!
she has my support because REid is another wanna be Hitler and the right arm of the anti christ b. HUSSENI obama.
I have NEVER seen someone be so contradictory as Sharron Angle. She will say something extreme like "we should get rid of Social Security"...then later deny that she even said it! Or dodge any questions about it by saying something like "that is not the issue" or "that is not what the voters are concerned with". This woman is either a total liar, or Section 8, or both.
Worse than just an ignorant fool, she's a lying ignorant fool. Privatize Social Security? After Enron and 2008?
Claims US cities are under Sharia law because she "read some articles"? Where? Neo-Nazi Review? Aryan Brotherhood? Sci-Fi Weekly? Weekly World News in the supermarket? Give her Hell, Harry!
This crap where idiots want someone for public office who is a little stupider than they are with no experience, utter ignorance, and a bizarre propensity for believing any garbage they read at their favorite web site or blog is appalling. If the people of Nevada vote this strange woman in on the state level, they deserve what they get. But since it's a national office, it's an insult to the rest of us and a danger to the nation to let this woman sit in the Senate. She's not a conservative, she's an extremist nut and she will do harm to this country.
Reid is a complete political hack and a traitor to our war effort and the proud men who are fighting it!
This woman is crazy and she has no business in office any where and certainly not in Washington. Folks if you want a country that is controlled by people who take their talk points off World Net Daily and can not form complete sentences, please leave and find another freaky country. I for one don't want a theocracy. I for one don't want all the services that our country affords to all, chipped away until we resemble a third world country. DEMOCRATS GET OUT AND VOTE.
Did these people realized we went though a devastating many now feel was a depression few months ago. Nevada is a gambling state for crying out loud. How people suppose to gamble without any jobs. Your about to get rid of the most powerful senator navada has ever produce and send a rooky with outlandish ideas to fight with the big dogs the president wil veto those crazy policies she wants she cant even deal with an unbias media for crying out loud. Read have brought in more pork money and voted to help out the poor and middle class than any other nevadian senators. Do you guys have a governor which is their job to fix the local economy.
A crafty, back- pedaling and ignorant politician trying to get elected by confusing her already confused supporters. This woman's views are out of the mainstream and nutty that she does not deserve to be a member of any legislative body let alone the United States senate.
Why is she hiding? She's NUTS, that's why.... Fear and Smear is the specialty of the GOP and has been for the last 50 years.
If the voters of Nevada want this piece of c–p it speaks volumes about their character, ignorance! One could only wonder if I really would want to go back to Las Vegas!
Ok... so even if her charges are true that Reid's campaign has turned to "fear and smear", how is that any different from what Republicans have been doing since the dawn of time?
Sharon Angle is extreme. Extremely ill informed, extremely secretive, extremely divisive, and extremely unprepared to be a Senator.
Is'nt that the tea party and the republicans are famous for 'fear and smear'. What is she compalining about, you started it. so face it.
THIS kind of comment from Ms No Sharia Law in the USA?? This from "obamacare=obamascare" and "they're coming after us right now and it's Harry's fault"...are you kidding us, Sharron? Irronic as heck.
Engle is calling the kettle black, If it hadn't been for Fear and Smear Bush would have been sent back to the ranch in 2000 and the country would be in much better shape!
Fear and Smear was Roves most powerful tool and it is being used by both party's because of this!!!!!