Accuracy in Media

harry reid cancer comment

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) lost his composure during a press conference on the ongoing federal government shutdown battle when he scolded CNN reporter Dana Bash by calling her question about the Senate possibly restoring funding to the NIH “irresponsible” and “reckless.”

Bash noted that Reid and other Democrats had lamented that children with cancer were unable to go to clinical trials because of the Republican led shutdown, and that if he really feels that way he would join with the House to restore funding so that these children can get treatment:

REID: Listen, Senator Durbin explained that very well, and he did it on the floor earlier. As did Senator Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It’s obvious what’s going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don’t know what other word I can use. They’re obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.

BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

SCHUMER: Why pit one against the other?

REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.

BASH: I’m just asking a question.

Temper, temper.

Later in the afternoon, after getting a lot of flack for his comments, Reid appeared on the Bill Press radio show and said that what he meant to say was, “Why would we want to have the House of Representatives, John Boehner cherry-pick what stays open and what to be––what should be closed?,” and blamed Republicans for accusing him of not caring for kids with cancer.

Nice try Harry, but the Republicans want to restore NIH’s funding, and you’re the one that wouldn’t commit to doing the same.

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