Reid: 'Vast majority' of Koch ads are lies
February 26th, 2014
09:46 PM ET
10 months ago

Reid: 'Vast majority' of Koch ads are lies

(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired away Wednesday at political ads hitting Obamacare funded by the billionaire Koch brothers that he says are all "untrue."

Reid later eased off some of his comments, but continued to pile on criticism of Americans for Prosperity.

That group, backed by conservatives Charles and David Koch, has flooded airwaves with ads attacking vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection and Senate candidates for their support of Obamacare.

In opening remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday, Reid said "there's plenty of horror stories being told" despite 4 million enrollees in the health care program.

"All of them are untrue, but they're being told all over America," he said, calling the AFP ads that characterize sky-rocketing premiums, dropped insurance plans and other negative effects of the law "absolutely false."

Reid's comments drew swift outrage from Republicans who responded on the Senate floor and continued to highlight problems with the law.

The Nevada Democrat later "walked back" the comments but continued to accuse the Koch brothers of "trying to buy America" with false stories of Obamacare.

"I can't say that every one of the Koch brother's ads are a lie," he said, but insisted, "a vast, vast majority of them are."

"What is going on with these two brothers who made billions of dollars last year in an attempt to buy our democracy is dishonest, deceptive, false and unfair. Just because you have huge amounts of money, you should not be able to run these false, misleading ads by the hundreds of millions of dollars."

The Koch-backed group has spent more than any other outside political group this cycle.

AFP says it has spent more than $25 million in ads attacking the health care law since October. The group has unleashed rounds of commercials that hammer lawmakers for supporting Obamacare.

It has zeroed-in on Democrats like Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who are facing tough reelection challenges.

AFP responded to Reid's comments, saying they were evidence Democrats are trying to move attention away from the short-comings of Obamacare.

"Instead of admitting that the health care law is a bad deal for Americans, Senator Reid has chosen to attack the brave men and women who are sharing their personal stories about Obamacare," AFP spokesman Levi Russell said in a statement.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: David and Charles Koch • Harry Reid • Health care
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. tom l

    Wow. Demonizing private citizens who have every right to do what they're doing whether you agree with them or not. Oh, and Mr. Reid, if you want to know what a REAL LIE is, try this one on for size: If you like your plan, you can keep it.

    February 26, 2014 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. tom l

    I know liberals on here will hail Reid as some hero but supporting this type of bullying by a politician on a private citizen is just plain scary. If Sniffit was truly intellectually honest, he would recognize that they have every right protected under the Constitution to say whatever they want and to have a person with this much authority and power is simply frightening.

    I know this is difficult, but try to get some perspective on this. What if George Bush talked about a George Soros this way and threatened him the way Reid is threatening the Koch brothers. I plead and beg for you to take your partisan goggles off and look at the tyranny going on from politicians today (I don't care whether it's dems or repubs, it's happening right in front of your eyes). I don't care what party you are from, this is wrong and scary. The government answers to US, not the other way around!

    February 26, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. ED1

    And I bet you didn't vote for Obamacare you are nothing but a liar.

    February 26, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. Wes

    That's right. The Koch brothers are responsible for my health coverage being cancelled and being replaced by uhbozo care that costs me $2500 more per year. Thank God my 57 year old wife has maternity coverage and my 0-12 year old children who are now 30 have dental coverage. The Koch brothers should be ashamed for cancelling my health coverage.

    February 26, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  5. sonnie3

    Any body any farther from the truth than Harry would near impossible to find. Oh obama and pelosi are big contenders also for the record holding title. May be a 3 way tie.

    February 26, 2014 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  6. Name James Farabee

    Koch brothers, on with the devil walking partners. JW

    February 26, 2014 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  7. Vicki

    Why would these Koch brothers waste so much time against the Affordable Care Act which is a law. They seem to be the most un-American bunch against most people having good health insurance and good benefits. I really don't understand why they are so determined to lie and spread deceit now when more and more people are signing up and are very happy to have this health care that they needed. The rich just do not understand that many people have not had the opportunity to have health insurance. They are so small minded and bigoted that they won't see that this is good for our nation.

    February 26, 2014 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  8. bill

    CNN is the biggest lie-he did not say Koch--he accused all those who have complained about obamacare are lies-wow you fit with obamalies. He hid behind the Koch deal afterwards. YOU CAN KEEP ;YOUR INSURANCE sound familiar???

    February 26, 2014 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  9. J.V.Hodgson

    Why are TV stations allowed to run ads without some verification that THEY like commercial ads for products must comply with advertising standards of legal, honest, decent and truthfull.
    The ad for the lady with leukemia is pathetic and should not run. the lady can pay her premium and save the $6,500 she paid out before in premium rather than co -pays now and use the $6500 saved to cover the new co pays which cannot exceed the $6500!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 27, 2014 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  10. Catherine

    Obama lies every time he opens his mouth but I don't see Reid or the state run media questioning that?

    February 27, 2014 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  11. Truth Partner 12

    Another reason the Harry needs to find himself in the minority role come January. What a heartless idiot.

    February 27, 2014 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  12. truthandjustice

    How very CNN of you to use the headline you did rather than Reid's FIRST response of, "ALL of them are untrue."

    February 27, 2014 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  13. IA

    Harry...time to retire and save what sanity you have left for your family. Do you suppose Harry comes from a "fundametalist" Mormon family? Thats what interbreeding will get you. Crazy old man.

    February 27, 2014 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  14. from teapot dome to teabags, Grand Old Poof!

    they are Kochs, what do you expect? truth? LOL

    Fred C. Koch used to work for Joseph Stalin, until he realized there was no future working for a bigger liar.

    February 27, 2014 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  15. Susan McFarland

    This is NOT what Reid first said regarding this issue. What he first stated was that ALL reports of problems surrounding Obamacare were untrue – he continued on to say that they were all lies. He, in no uncertain terms, stated that all complaints made by the American people about the ACA were lies.
    He later tried to walk back his diatribe by softening it to say he meant just ads put out by the Koch Bros were lies, but the American people aren't letting him off the hook so easily – except for the mainstream media, including this article by CNN. CNN has not reported the actual speech as Reid read it. It's only reporting the soft version. Just how difficult is it for CNN to just report the facts as they unfolded? Why can't CNN just once publish the actual facts of the story?

    February 27, 2014 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  16. stingerhp

    The citizens of Nevada must be so proud of their son in Washington, they keep electing him in spite of his lousy poetry.. Or are they just plain stupid ?

    February 27, 2014 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  17. Tommy G

    Well there you have it. Everything Harry Reid, Obama (Liar of the Year) and the Democrats say is the truth and everything that their opponents say is lies. Only problem with that is that Harry Reid, Obama and the Democrats are the PROVEN LIARS when it comes to Obamacare.

    The law was passed based on lies and deceit and everything its opponents have said for years is turning out to be true. Even Obamacare creators and supporters call it a train wreck. And yet the brain dead koolaide drinkers like harry Reid refuse to see what is happening and admit they royally screwed up and screwed the American people with their 2,500 page disaster that nobody read before passing.

    What we have here is the Democrats and their koolaide drinking supporters doubling down on their lies in order to save their political skins this November and in 2016. The problem with that is that people see and experience first hand what is happening with their healthcare and see how Obama has played political games by delaying its most devastating parts until after elections. A majority of the American people now do not believe Obama and the Democrats and their continued lies do nothing to help their cause. November will show them the err of their ways. It is a tangled web you weave, when first you practice to deceive. They never learned that one I guess.

    February 27, 2014 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  18. ChrisM

    Correct. and unfortunately the Koch bros have millions to waste and lie for their lapdogs

    February 27, 2014 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  19. WKNDTHG3

    Even those sharing their stories have been proven to be lies. The Kroch brothers need to fly off into the sunset and never return. Anyone with half a brain knows the ACA is here to stay and it works. Rethuglicans need to get over the fact that a man of color has done something good for this country.

    February 27, 2014 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  20. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Just proves that money can't buy elections , ask mitt. The kochs are a pre example of why taxes NEED to be RAISED on these SUBVERSIVE GOP billionaires who buy our congressmen. If they can throw their money down the tiolet on loser GOP canadates they can afford to pay hundreds of millions in MORE TAXES. The kochs give billionaires a bad name and just live off their daddy's money while accomplishing NOTHING and should go buy their own country SOME WHERE ELSE.RAISE THEIR TAXES!!!!!!

    February 27, 2014 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  21. Harold Read

    "You can keep your policy. Period." earned Obama the 2013 Lie if the Year Award, Senator Reid.

    February 27, 2014 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  22. Lizzie

    What a hypocrite, but then democrats always need someone to blame for their shortcomings.
    "Groups tied to three of the nation's top liberal-leaning billionaires have spent more than $25 million this year alone to back progressive causes and candidates, just a year after liberals complained that wealthy Republicans were having too much influence over politics. Michael Bloomberg, Facebook founder mark Zuckerman and Cali hedge fund investor Tom Steyer just to name 3.

    The progressive groups tied to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and California hedge fund investor Tom Steyer are showing a new trend among Democrats to accept outside money, reports Politico.

    But the money is angering both campaign finance reformers and Republicans, who say the media and others hold wealthy Democratic donors to a different standard than Republicans.

    Steyer's top adviser, Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, says more wealthy liberals are likely to spend money over the upcoming election cycle.

    The liberal billionaires' funding is already making a difference in states like Virginia, where Bloomberg-backed Independence USA is expected to have spent $3 million in attack ads against Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and state Sen. Mark Obenshain, the Republican candidate for attorney general.

    February 27, 2014 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  23. Michael MN

    Your average american has the ability but not the desire to fact check these type of adds , They work because some people will base there vote on a 30 second comercial yet not believe anything that has been fact checked

    February 27, 2014 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  24. Marie MD

    A vast majority? I would say all of them. Lying by omission is just as bad as lying to your face.
    Too bad the koch brothers don't use their money for the betterment of humanity. They'll be visiting with many in he!! when their time comes.

    February 27, 2014 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  25. don in albuquerque

    Eat the rich.

    February 27, 2014 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
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