Harry Reid had high praise for President Trump calling him “smart” and hard to beat in a recent appearance.
“I used to think that Donald Trump was not too smart. I certainly don’t believe that anymore,” the former Senate majority leader told David Axelrod in an interview preview that aired Friday on CNN. “I don’t think he’s intellectually a powerhouse, but he is basically a very, very smart man. No matter what the subject, any argument he involves himself in, it’s on his terms.”
The 79-year-old Nevada Democrat said the Democratic presidential contenders should not be under the illusion that Trump would be beaten easily in 2020.
In August, he warned that his party’s presidential candidates were taking far-left positions that were hurting their chances of beating Trump. He specifically pointed to “Medicare for all” and decriminalized border crossings as two potentially hazardous positions for Democrats.
Reid held his Nevada Senate seat from 1987-2017 and was the leader of the Democratic conference from 2005 to 2017. He announced he would not be running for reelection in 2016 after an injury left him blind in one eye. Sen. Chuck Schumer from New York is now the leader of the Senate Democrats.
Reid was loathed by his Republican opponents accusing him on multiple occasions of unethical conduct. In 2012, he made the unfounded claim in interviews and on the Senate floor that the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, did not pay taxes for 10 years. When his claim later proved to be false, Reid bragged that it did not matter because Romney “didn’t win.”
He also was condemned by Republicans for attacking private citizens from the Senate floor when he repeatedly went on rants against the Koch brothers calling them “un-American” and “power-drunk billionaires.”
In May 2018, Reid had surgery after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chemotherapy damaged five of his vertebrae and he now uses a wheelchair. Reid said he is now mostly confined to his Las Vegas office and home in the suburbs.