October 28th, 2010
08:12 PM ET
4 years ago

Nevada Senate candidates trade barbs over Social Security

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – Nevada's two Senate candidates traded barbs Thursday over Social Security amid a new report about comments Republican nominee Sharron Angle once made about federal social programs.

"Isn't it us that should be caring in our community" for those that the Lord believes need help - Angle says in an audiotape posted on the website viddler.com and earlier reported by Politico - those who are "the least among you?"


"We do have a lot of wicked ways that we can confess as a church," she said.
At an event with senior citizens, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized his opponent, accusing her of calling programs Social Security and Medicare "wicked."

But Angle's campaign said Reid was misconstruing Angle's comments.

"There's nothing in that text calling entitlement programs 'wicked,'" Angle spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said in a statement. "This text says that the programs are fine, but we should be caring for our community. Again, go to any church in America and you'll hear a sentiment like that."

Social Security and its future have been a source of ongoing controversy for the Republican.

Angle has called for the privatization of program, but she recently told CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin she no longer supports that idea because of additional information she received. She now says she would not fight to abolish it.

Reid, however, said Angle should "stop frightening people who are on Social Security" when talking about its future financial stability.

"Seniors voting for her are voting to get rid of Social Security," he told reporters.

The Angle campaign shot back. "Harry Reid is the one responsible for the current dismal state of the Social Security system. He voted to move $2.5 trillion out of Social Security to pay for his pet projects, including Obamacare. Sharron believes the government needs to keep its promise to seniors and pay back the money that was stolen from their retirement," Matthews said.

With early voting ending in the state on Friday, both campaigns are planning major events to help spur their followers' enthusiasm and encourage voter turnout on Tuesday. Sen. John McCain will appear at a rare public rally with Angle Friday. First Lady Michelle Obama is coming to Nevada for an event with Reid on Monday.

Reid also told reporters he did not put a lot of stock in recent polls showing the race either a dead heat or a small advantage for Angle.

And while the candidates sparred through the media, their latest volleys in the multi-million dollar ad war hit the airwaves Thursday, with each side aiming for the other's presumed weak points. Angle's ad ties Reid to President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while Reid's paints "Angle's Nevada" as short on compassion and regulation.

The latest financial records show Reid's campaign has spent $8.4 million on advertising while the Angle camp's commercial spending tops $7.1 million, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's ad consultant.

Outside groups have boosted spending to more than $32 million overall in the Nevada Senate race, one of the most hard-fought and most watched contests in the country. It ranks fourth in outside group spending for Senate campaigns, according to the Sunlight Foundation, which monitors money and politics.

Reid told reporters that the big spending on ads has been necessary "because she won't talk to you ... the only way to do it is through paid advertising."

He pointed out that his campaign sends out releases advertising events, but Angle's does not. Earlier this week she left an event through a back door to avoid reporters, and she has posted photographs of her meeting with voters at events reporters either were not told about or were barred from attending.

Meanwhile, the Angle campaign says it has raised more than $300,000 since talk show host Joy Behar called Angle a b–ch because she was upset with an ad that targeted Reid on immigration. Angle sent "The View" co-host flowers and a note of appreciation.

Behar, who also hosts a show on CNN sister network HLN, apologized on Thursday, saying she meant it as "a term of endearment."

– CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon contributed to this story.


Filed under: 2010 • Harry Reid • issues • Nevada • Sharron Angle
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. bob

    As I have stated before, if Harry Reid loses and he just might, it is not because Angle is a better candidate, it is because Harry Reid has not been a good leader. But, I would vote for him over her any day. Thank God, she won't be representing me.

    October 28, 2010 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. rdepontb

    This is why Sharron Angle refuses to speak to anyone-she is constantly saying what she really means! And it ain't pretty at all.

    October 28, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Clark Wilhelm Griswald

    What a choice: the mediocre, ineffectual incumbent or the totally insane extremist challenger.

    Laugh about it, shout about it
    When you have to choose
    Anyway you look at it you lose

    October 28, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. usualone

    It is interesting that Angle does not meet with the press and ducks out the back door or whatever to avoid them. Finally more women are running for offices but those such as Angle are embarrassing to our species. She back peddles items as Social Security once she sees her way is not acceptable. It is difficult to understand why should be close to Reid in the race.

    October 28, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  5. TOTAL FACT

    Finally someone realizes that the Social Security benefits is money that the individual TAXPAYER paid in. The Federal Government has stolen it led by the Democrats. Everyone wants to blame the Republicans and they make it easy since they never wanted it in the first place. But, this was a stable benefit until Reid and his cronies voted to dip into the benefits to use on other programs. This is like stealing out of Grandmas purse to make your budget work. Shame, shame on you damn Democrats. The sorry state of affairs is I was one for 50 years. BUT NO MORE I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT AND THE LIGHT DOES NOT HAVE A DARK BULB IN IT.

    October 28, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  6. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    "He voted to move $2.5 trillion out of Social Security to pay for his pet projects, including Obamacare." It's weird, when I first heard Sharron Angle say this I thought "That's one of the biggest most blatant lies I've ever heard from a candidate for national office." But now, it's weird but, having heard her say it over and over and over, it has become THE TRUTH. And the one about how Harry Reid voted to give Viagra to child molesters? I totally believe that now. Finally, we have a politician who really gets how to communicate with the American people. Sarah Palin had better watch her back in 2012.

    October 28, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  7. Alaskan Sourdough

    I doubt very seriously she's received $300,000 as a result of Joys comment... Pathetic liar....and she's crazy!

    October 28, 2010 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  8. David Scott

    John McCain is a useless, lying ,flip flopping loser.

    October 28, 2010 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  9. Charlie

    Social Security in its current form is a failure. In SS you contribute 15% (includes employer match), work for 50 years, and get a check of 30% of your salary. Private plans contribute 15%, you work for 30 years, and retire with 80% of your salary. Private pension plans earn money over the long haul while SS loses money.

    October 29, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  10. kakaraka

    And Nevada would vote for her? Incredible

    October 29, 2010 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. Terry

    There is a plan inside the Republican Party to shutdown Social Security as we know it today. The Republicans are using the Tea Party Candidates as trial balloon testers, and if these candidates fail, the Republicans will try a different tactic in 2012. If you are nearing retirement age, you can forget your Social Security Pension, and if you are younger, too bad.

    October 29, 2010 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    "Isn't it us that should be caring in our community..." Angle said.

    You see, that's the problem with people like Angle: She doesn't get that "us" and "community" means the United States.

    Her "us" and "community" are only those who share her narrow views – everyone else is a "them" who should be feared and despised. And, God forbid, we shouldn't spend a dime on "them!"

    She just doesn't get what the framers of our Constitution meant by the federal government "providing for the general welfare" of the people!

    October 29, 2010 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  13. WTF? is with Angle

    WOW! Nevada if you elected Sharron Angle you will become the laughing stock of this country. NV governor(Gibson) cheats on his wife, NV (Ensign)senator cheats with his staffer wife and then bribe her husband and now this kook that keep shooting herself in the foot with mouth. I quess what happens in Vegas, doesn't stay in Vegas.

    October 29, 2010 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  14. gg

    Joy Behar got it 100% correct... except that female dogs have far more class and intelligence than the Angle bitch.

    October 29, 2010 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  15. TS37

    So now Sharron has helped us understand her real problem with Social Security. She wants to be able to decide who is "deserving" and who is not. And since she has a direct line from God, only Sharron and the Tea Party will be able to decide who needs help. She doesn't want to "privatize." She wants to "personalize" the concept of people helping people. Nice try, Sharron. Now we know why your handlers are terrified at the prospect you might actually complete a sentence while talking in front of the press: you might actually explain some of your bigoted, self-righteous, seriously deluded ideas.

    October 29, 2010 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  16. Marie MD

    listen up lunatic angle, you want to privatize social security, no more medicare, you think fluoride in the water is a conspiracy, you want to give criminals in jail massages, you said that if voting didn't work out that second amendment remedies was the answer, what you do best is to run hanging on to some guy from the press, you told a group of Hispanic kids that they looked Asian. Oh yeah! You are definitely someone who should be not in congress but in a mental institution. You look, act and really and truly sound insane. This has nothing to do with bipartisanship.
    BTW – you and your church can shove it. Just the fact that you bring up your religion is good enough for anyone to NOT vote for you. Separation of church and state, remember? I guess you didn't learn from that other DE witch o'donnell.

    October 29, 2010 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  17. hsr0601

    1. AS we are all aware, while many of small businesses are in financial trouble, lots of big name companies are reluctant to expand businesses, even with adequate capital.
     
    From what I understand, they might take into account that plenty of ordinary households are still facing Stagnant Income Raises & Runaway Healthcare Cost, and beyond, say, low demand.
     
    Given, the choice is clear, which one is going a long way to desperately needed job boost, tax credit for 95% of middle class or others.
     
    2. I hope strongly that Nevada also will take a bold action into solar energy space just like California.
    To my knowledge, solar industry became more cost completive with the counterparts.

    October 29, 2010 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  18. King

    Why these navadians dont get some reality. What the hell a rookie ideologist is going to get accomplished but shutting down the government taking more money out of fok pocket making less likely folks to gambke in navada and losing more jobs. Reid is the fourth most powerful man in america and can benefit navada in these perilous times way better than a rookie. You might never get another so powerful as reid ever again.

    October 29, 2010 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  19. Whatever

    If she wins the same attack ads will be launched against her next election, when nothing changes in the state. Until the $$ is flowing on main street, they are not going to be spending it in Las Vegas. Hey Angle, remember what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!!!!!!

    As much as the republicians try to scare us all about the illegal aliens, they will not do anything to change what is happening. Outsourcing of jobs, they won't change anything except try to stop businesses from being penalized for outsourcing. Tax cuts have been in placed for 8 years and has not produced the jobs they talk about and they won't change that either. Funny how the Republicians and those that vote them into power, keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results – - definition of being INSANE!!!!!

    October 29, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. randy

    Social Security is the biggest scam in american history.

    October 29, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  21. rob

    Harry is down by 4 points going into the weekend so the Smear and Fear will be over the top. We will see these quotes over and over:

    "Seniors voting for her are voting to get rid of Social Security," he told reporters. "

    Harry Reid has been in Washington for decades, Majority Leader of the Senate for 4 years and this is all he has left to convince voters in Nevada that he deserves another term? The Senate Leader of the United States of America cannot run on his record because the American people REJECT IT.

    October 29, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  22. Derek

    While I am no Sharron Angle fan (and do like Joy Behar) I did chuckle a little when I read that she sent her flowers after helping her raise that large sum of money! Even if she turns out to be crazy, she at least has some wit!

    October 29, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. Larry

    Well, she is a ....... But, hey we all have a right to vote, so you Angle supporters go ahead an waste yours.

    October 29, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  24. Seattle Sue

    Sharron Angle is one flip-flopping crazy old lady. Now that she has more information on Social Security she won't try to abolish it. I won't believe anything she says until that Pig With Lipstick flies.

    October 29, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. The reality is...

    "We do have a lot of wicked ways that we can confess as a church," she said.
    At an event with senior citizens, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized his opponent, accusing her of calling programs Social Security and Medicare "wicked." The fact that Harry doesn't understand what she said in this statement – which clearly indicates she blames the shurch for not living up to its resposibility – proves she has more wisdom than he does so vote for her and let's hope these new Republicans bring about the "change" that really gives us "hope".

    October 29, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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