Washington (CNN) - The Silver State senator has proven once again that he lacks a silver tongue.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, took to the Senate floor Friday to trumpet the Labor Department's newly released jobless numbers. February's unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent as the economy shed 36,000 jobs. Not great, but the consensus forecast among economists at Briefing.com was for unemployment to rise to 9.8 percent with a net loss of 68,000 jobs.
Democrats wanted to seize on the numbers as evidence that the economic slide has stopped. Unfortunately for his colleagues, Reid mangled the message.
"Today is a big day in America," he proclaimed. "Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good." Reid noted that prognosticators had expected the numbers to be much worse.
Republicans immediately pounced on the campaign ad fodder from the four-term senator, who is facing a tough re-election fight this year.
"It's difficult to think of a Washington politician who is more out of touch with working Americans than Harry Reid," National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh said.
"Only in Harry Reid's world is it a good thing that 36,000 more Americans lost their jobs in February. Unfortunately, it's working families in Nevada who continue to pay the price for Reid's out-of-touch and failed leadership."