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.”
The extremist are in the White House, Congress and Senate. I would hope there are enough sane voters in Nevada to defeat the most radical, inept, and anti-American Senate leader ever in history.
curiously, it's been mostly the republicans who have been "fearing and smearing".
"The message has certainly changed from hope and change to 'fear and smear'," Angle said. She should know. The rethugs use fear and smear any chance they get because they have no solution nor do they have new ideas.
Using fear is primal.
I am sure some folks still have her previous website where she wanted to do away with social security, medicare, department of education, EPA and that little footnote of giving massages to prisoners. Maybe that is how she gets her kicks!
Angle/O'Donnell/Palin=Are You Serious...what jokes. America wake up these Nutty women actually scare me. We got to do better and not ever elect anyone this clueless. VOTE and tell your friends and family to VOTE....if not these NUTS are coming.
She TRIES to talk a good game BUT I want to see here stand up to her convictions and debate Reid. If she is so confident in her stances then let's see her defend them on live TV.
PEOPLE, CALL ON ALL YOUR CANDIDATES TO DEBATE THE ISSUES!!
But can anyone with more than a few synapses firing take Angle seriously?
Reid has been a disgrace. I;m not a fan of Angle, but we cannot afford sending Reid back to the senate.
This woman has proven to be unstable. Her pulling back from comments she has made shows this waffling. Just because she received lots of monies does not mean she is capable of holding a seat in the US government.
How can any normal person vote for a candidate who won't answer questions on her views. She literally runs from the press. She's insane, and a coward!
Nevada if you vote this woman in you deserve her. All these donations yeah I bet they cmae from the small doners. The repos and the tea party have been getting money from big businness and now that they don't have to disclose their source the can funnel it to these wing nuts. You know who will be running htis country if thet are elected. The big insurance companies and the same wall street ferms you all complained about. Wake you vote them all out.Vote democratic in November go forward not back.
Sharron, don't blame Harry Reid for running a fear and smear campaign. You are one of those scary Tea Party disciples and therefore you are an unknown. The Tea Party says one thing, but they project something else. You people claim to be fiscal conservatives and for small government, but you sat silently by while the Republican party, headed by George Bush, let this country slide into this mess. You uttered not a word. Many of us are suspicious because you didn't find your voices until President Obama was elected by the majority of Americans. He wasn't given the job by the Supreme Court like Bush, we hired him. We would all feel more comfortable if you people were more respectful instead of so hateful.
this woman is incoherent, inept, incompetent and an imbecile
When the law is against you, you argue the facts. When the facts are against you, you argue the law. When the facts and law are against you, you impune the integrity of your opponent. Angles tactic...
Her aides say ninety four percent of all contributions were from donors who gave $100 or less and totaling 194,000 individuals.........publish their names or at least, the names of the 5 donors that gave the 14 million. Hypocrites and hos
Wow, republicans accusing someone of smear and feat tactics in politics. They have used these tactics exclusively since 2000. After September 11, 2001, they used that as smear and fear, hinting that voting for anyone but republican candidates puts the U.S. in danger. What garbage, what hog wash. This republican party puts the U.S. in danger. No ideas, backwards thinking, exclusionary. Think, use your own intelligence, gather your OWN information before you vote people.
How people can choose this woman for the senate if she is not speaking. People's heads in Nevada must very over heated from the sun.
sweety you might be right on the fear and smear. But he learned that from the best fear and smear user in the world George W. Bush. REMEMBER HIM?
To be truthful, yes we are scared of a KNOW NOTHING like Angle getting anywhere near Washington. Can we give this mouth breather an I-Q TEST before voting?
Wow... I hope Mrs. Angle is able to thank the contributers to her campaign from China, India, Russia, I heard North Korea sent Sharron some money. ....A VOTE FOR ANGLE IS A VOTE AGAINST DEMOCRACY! BELIEVE IT!!
Go get them Sentor Angle. This is your race now. The liberal Media want you bad now because you represent the majority of America and not the nut job left. Watching election returns on CNN, MSNBC, will be so much fun in November. I can't wait to see the faces as they have to read the results and over and over again it will be Republicans with the win. Keep it up Sharron we're with you!
Angle wants to repeal Health Care reform, repeal wallstreet reform, end the department of education, force women to have an abortion that have been RAPED BY FAMILY or a stranger and repeal the Civil rights act. COO COO.
She might be "extreme" in regards. However, we can go by track records here then I would say that Reid's track record speaks for itself. If I can ask Reid 1 thing to do... Make a list of All the jobs he BROUGHT to Nevada that are NOT short term (Aka Stimulus) since 1987 and also how many we have LOST because of him. 1 on the list. Yucca Mountain. Approx 5000 people laid off or out of work. So he puts in a Green Project for the Solar Research that might bring in 1000. You do the math.
It seems she should have gotten "more information" on these subjects before she spoke publicly about them. But then, this seems to be par for this woman. It's rather strange that positions she has stated for years have suddenly changed so recently. Mr. Reid didn't come out and say it, but I think this woman would be a real danger to this country if she is elected to the US Senate. I really hope the people of Nevada do not elect her.
Reid is right about her. And she, like O' Donnell, is not going to win.
Angle, O'Donnell and Palin are three of a kind – ignorant and highly-paid mouthpieces for very cunning, very wealthy, very scary people who will stop at absolutely nothing to kill informed democracy in the USA and bring in a regime of corporate dictatorship backed by a populace which has been scared stupid.
I refuse to believe there are enough Americans of that description to vote Tea Partiers into office.