[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/15/art.gillibrand.gi.jpg caption ="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday called New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ‘the hottest member’ of the Senate."]Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is well known for unscripted statements that tend to make his aides cringe.
Reid made one of those comments Monday morning at a New York fundraiser hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Nevada Democrat referred to New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand "the hottest member," which apparently made Gillibrand blush, according to two Democratic sources familiar with the incident.
To be clear, Reid didn't just make up that reference out of thin air.
The 43-year-old mother of two in fact came in third recently on a list of The Hill's "50 most beautiful" list in Washington.
Still, there was a wince factor among Reid's advocates.
One big Democratic Reid supporter said in an email: "got to love Harry – always one quote away from blowing himself up...and I say that with complete affection."
A spokesperson for Gillibrand responded Tuesday morning.
"The Leader was saying nice things about the work Senator Gillibrand and Senator Reid have done together over the last year and half, and made a joke referencing to the Hill article from earlier this year," spokesman Matt Cantor said. "Senator Gillibrand has the utmost respect for Senator Reid and looks forward to continue working together to repeal [Don't Ask Don't Tell], pass 9/11 health, and create good-paying jobs across the country."
(Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET)