It’s True: Sen. Reid Changed His Position on Immigration
Took to US Senate floor years ago and called 1993 legislation “the biggest mistake I ever made”
LAS VEGAS – Sharron Angle’s new DC handlers continue their relentless efforts to divert attention from her extreme and dangerous agenda – an agenda that includes elimination of Social Security and Medicare, abolishing the Department of Education, turning Nevada into America’s nuclear dumping ground, and eliminating all oversight of Wall Street and big oil companies like BP. Now Angle and her allies are attacking Sen. Reid for tough immigration legislation he drafted back in 1993, suggesting harsh crackdown on the US-Mexican border.
Much like their other erroneous attacks, they don't tell the full story.
In a 2006 floor speech following remarks by Republican Jeff Sessions that criticized his 1993 legislation, Sen. Reid took to the floor and explained what he had done and his supreme regret for having introduced such legislation in the past. Having reflected with friends and family over the ensuing years, Reid called the 1993 bill “the biggest mistake I ever made” and “the low point of my governmental career.”
By contrast, Sharron Angle’s new handlers have taken a different tack regarding the extreme and dangerous agenda Angle has espoused throughout her entire career in politics. In recent days, Angle has attempted to reverse her precipitous drop in polls from such radical stances as her plan to eliminate Social Security entirely with a very simple tactic: pretending she never took those positions and flat-out lying.
“While Sen. Reid very publicly expressed his regret for the immigration legislation he introduced in 1993, Sharron Angle’s new DC handlers have taken a different tack with her extreme and dangerous agenda for Nevadans – pretending Angle’s past statements regarding her long-held beliefs simply never happened and lying about her agenda for the future,” said Reid campaign spokesman Jon Summers. “A mistake – especially one Sen. Reid called the ‘low point of my governmental career’ – is one thing. But Sharron Angle’s flat-out lying about her unflinching desire to eliminate Social Security in the face of extreme political pressure is quite another.”
1993 IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION, SEN. REID’S APOLOGY
IT’S TRUE -- HARRY REID CHANGED HIS STANCE ON IMMIGRATION FROM 1993 LEGISLATION. WHEN CONFRONTED, HE WENT TO FLOOR, ADMITTED WHAT HE CALLED AN ENORMOUS MISTAKE, AND EXPLAINED HIMSELF
April 2006: Reid Described “The Biggest Mistake I Ever Made” In Introducing Anti-Immigrant Legislation. In April 2006, Senator Reid went to the floor to respond to criticism of his immigration stance. He said, “I don't want this to be true confessions, but I want to relate to the Senate that the biggest mistake I ever made, the largest error I ever made was 15 or 18 years ago, as a Member of the U.S. Congress, when, with my chief of staff, my dear friend Reynaldo Martinez … A group of people came and talked to us and convinced us that the thing to do would be to close the borders between Mexico and the United States; in effect, stop people from coming across our borders to the United States … I introduced legislation. My little wife is 5 feet tall. We have been together for soon to be 50 years. As I said here on the floor a few days ago, her father was born in Russia. He was run out of Russia. His name was Goldfarb, his family. They were Jewish. My wife heard that I had done this. She does not interfere with my legislation. Only when I ask her does she get involved in what I am doing. I didn't ask her about this. She, in effect, said: I can't believe that you have done it. But I had done it.” [Reid Floor Speech, 4/5/06]
Reid Described Backlash From Friends And Constituents In Nevada’s Hispanic Community: “To compound this, I held a meeting a day or two after being confronted by my wife, a meeting in Las Vegas. It was a townhall meeting to explain this travesty that I called legislation. My friend, Judge John Mendoza, was there, somebody who, when I lost my Senate race in 1974 by 524 votes, spent all night with me consoling me, but he was in that audience. Larry Luna, Larry Mason, Isabelle Pfeiffer, people I had not talked to about this, in addition to my wife, pointed out the errors of my way. I have done everything since that meeting in Las Vegas, in conversation with my wife, to undo my embarrassment.” [Reid Floor Speech, 4/5/06]
Reid Called His Past Immigration Stance “The Low Point Of My Governmental Career,” Explained His Belief In The Need For Comprehensive Reform: “I have nothing against my friend, the junior Senator from Alabama, for bringing up what I had said those many years ago today on the Senate floor. I have no problem with that at all. But I do want to tell him and the rest of my friends in the Senate, that is a low point of my legislative career, the low point of my governmental career. That is why I believe we need comprehensive immigration reform today. People in America are counting on us to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform. They recognize that this country's national security depends on securing our borders and fixing our immigration system. They all want us to do this, Democrats and Republicans, to come together and do this.” [Reid Floor Speech, 4/5/06]
BY CONTRAST, WHEN SHARRON ANGLE IS CONFRONTED WITH A TOXIC SOCIAL SECURITY AGENDA THAT IS UNPOPULAR, HER DC HANDLERS TRY TO COVER IT UP BY SIMPLY LYING
Political Columnist Jon Ralston Called Angle’s New Social Security Ad “Totally Disingenuous.” In an August 2010 column, Jon Ralston wrote, “Angle’s new ad, in which she talks about how she wants to save the program on its 75th anniversary and accuses Reid of raiding the trust fund, is quite well done. It’s also totally disingenuous. Before June 8, The Primary Angle talked about phasing out the program and privatizing it, insisting when pressed that it could not be fixed. The General Angle is trying to stop the chattering of elder teeth by reassuring them no one will lose benefits and that she is the agent of their salvation. Not credible, but is it possible people will buy the ad? Need I answer?” [Las Vegas Sun, Ralston Column, 8/13/10]
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Called Angle Out For Lying When She Said “I’ve Never Said I Want To Eliminate” Social Security. In July 2010, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz responded to Angle’s Social Security claim during her speech to the Right Online conference:
Schultz: Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle is making the chicken lady she defeated in the primaries actually look pretty good right now. Talking Points Memo reports at a conservative blog convention this weekend, Angle denied she called for an end to Social Security saying "I’ve never said I want to eliminate. I always said I want to save social security by paying back." Whatever all that means. Problem is, Sharron Angle, that's a flat out lie. Here’s what she said back in May during a Republican primary debate.
Angle: That we need to phase Medicare and social security out in favor of something privatized.
Schultz: Phase out social security is just another word for eliminating it. So Sharron, either Talking Point Memos, either they're lying or you're lying and I know which organization I’m putting my money on. Sharron Angle claiming she never called for the elimination of Social Security is blatantly false psycho talk. [The Ed Show, 7/26/10, Video Available here]
Es Cierto: el Sen. Reid Ha Cambiado su Pensar en torno a la Inmigración
Hace varios años el Sen. Reid se dirigió a sus colegas en el pleno del Senado, bajó la cabeza y se refirió a su propuesta de 1993 como “el peor error que he cometido”
LAS VEGAS – En su afanado intento por cambiar el enfoque de la discusión, los asesores de Washington de Sharron Angle continuan intentando distraer al público de la peligrosa y extrema agenda de Angle – una agenda que incluye quitarle todo beneficio a los inmigrantes legales, elminar el Seguro Social y el Medicare y convertir a Nevada en el basurero nuclear de la nación . Ahora Angle y sus aliados están atacando a Reid por una propuesta de seguridad fronteriza que este hizo en 1993.