New York (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came out swinging against GOP opponent Sharron Angle over a Spanish-speaking ad urging Hispanics not to vote.
"Listen to her latest – running ads on Hispanic television telling people not to vote," Reid said to a booing crowd at University of Nevada at Las Vegas. "She's trying to keep people from voting."
The bruising accusation was carried live on CNN.
But Angle isn't the one running the ad Reid was talking about. It was produced and paid for by Latinos for Reform, a group headed by conservative Robert Deposada.
Angle spokesman Jarred Agen called Reid's allegation a "a blatant, desperate lie."
Deposada purchased time on the Spanish speaking network Univision. Before Reid spoke, both Deposada and Univision told CNN that the network decided to pull the ad before it even aired on television. A Univision spokeswoman said the ad's message runs counter to the network's efforts to encourage Hispanics to vote.
Still, Reid not only suggested Angle was responsible for the ad, he called on her to denounce it.
"Can you really think of anything less patriotic or more offensive than telling people not to vote?" Reid asked the crowd.
"How could she possibly not speak out against what they are doing? But she hasn't said a single word. What she has done, recommended, is despicable and she should denounce it," said Reid.
Reid spokesman Jon Summers defended the remarks about Angle, telling CNN, "She doesn't get a pass on this one."
"With her silent support, she owns the ads as much the people who produced them. She's the only one who hasn't condemned them," said Summers.
Angle's spokesman told CNN, "We encourage all Nevadans to vote, and they should vote for Sharron Angle."
Agen also called Reid a "hypocrite" since the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is running a television ad encouraging people to take their anger out at the gym, rather than voting for Sharron Angle.
"It implies to all the frustrated voters (and there are many) to go to the gym instead of voting their mind," said Agen in an e-mail.
Multiple Reid sources say they are hoping that the specter of an ad encouraging Hispanics not to vote, coupled with Angle's comments telling some Hispanic students they look Asian, will help the Senate Democratic leader lure votes from the Latino community.
"It helps drive Hispanics into our open arms [and] helps drive Hispanic turnout" said one senior Reid adviser.
Hispanics make up about quarter of Nevada's population. It's a fast growing group in the state with new voters Reid advisers hope he can bring on board.
"It hits a community that Reid desperately needs to show up," said a second source close to Reid, who said his camp is "fishing for every vote they can."