Skip to content

Harry Reid Talks Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton

Reid talks Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Reid talks Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used to raise money for him and that he really likes Hillary Rodham Clinton, even if he hasn’t formally endorsed her presidential bid quite yet.  

The Nevada Democrat’s comments about Trump, Clinton and predicting a 2016 Democratic takeover of the Senate came on a Las Vegas radio program where the retiring senator has appeared frequently over the years. “I have no problem with someone changing their philosophy … but he’s changed pretty quickly. It wasn’t long ago he was doing fundraisers for Harry Reid,” Reid said while opining about politics on KNPR .  

“If this man gets the nomination, I feel so very, very sorry for the Republican Party, but also for our country,” Reid said. “His statements are beyond the pale. I mean it’s really unbelievable what he’s done and what he’s said.”  

He told one listener that while he really liked Clinton and was planning to attend an event for her, he hasn’t formally endorsed her yet. Reid’s colleague, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., is also vying for the Democratic nomination, as is former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.  

“I’m really a Clinton fan, but right now I have not endorsed anyone. I am going to go to an event for Hillary in a few days, but I’ll do my endorsement later,” said Reid. “It shouldn’t be too much longer.”  

On Sanders, Reid said, “He is really a progressive guy, and that’s an understatement. But, he’s also one of the nicest people I have in the Senate Democratic caucus, and I like him a lot. I’m more of a Clinton fan at this stage.”  

Clinton is expected to appear at Tuesday’s Democratic caucus lunch, where Sanders is a regular attendee.  

As for the Senate map, Reid said he would do whatever he could in support of former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto as she runs to succeed him in the Senate. Reid’s sizable political apparatus has been fully behind her from the outset.  

“We have to pick up four seats to retake the majority,” Reid said, though Democrats could need five if they don’t win the White House. “I think we’re going to pick up a seat in Wisconsin. We’re going to pick up a seat in Illinois. We’re going to pick up a seat in Ohio. We’re going to pick up a seat in Pennsylvania. All these races, we’re ahead in those,” Reid said.  

Reid said Democrats are also “very competitive” in Missouri and “really, really competitive” in Florida, where both parties have primaries ahead of the general election race to replace Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who’s running for president.  

Absent from the lists Reid rattled off were any mentions of New Hampshire, where Democrats are awaiting word from Gov. Maggie Hassan on whether she’ll challenge Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte.  

But he said the party is “in pretty good shape all over the country” and that it will “pick up enough seats to retake the majority.”


Key Races in 2016: Political Landscape Taking Shape

Top Races to Watch in 2016: New England

GOP Gleeful That Grayson’s Getting Into Florida Senate Race

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.