Harry Reid Hammers Scott Brown Bipartisan Claims As 'Big Joke'

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., speaks during a media availability, on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, in Washington. (AP Pho
Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., speaks during a media availability, on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) scoffed Wednesday at defeated Sen. Scott Brown's chances of ever winning back his seat and slammed the Massachusetts Republican's assertions of bipartisanship as a "big joke" and a "travesty."

Reid's remarks came in reaction to a press conference Brown gave a day earlier, in which Brown bemoaned his loss to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in last week's election as more evidence that moderates are a dying breed in the U.S. Senate.

Asked about those comments Wednesday, Reid was happy to engage.

"I saw during the campaign his plea for bipartisanship. That is a big joke. It's a travesty," Reid told reporters. "He was one of the most partisan people that's ever served here."

In fact, Brown did vote with Democrats on a number of key measures, but Reid focused on the times that Brown could have broken from his party and put legislation over the 60-vote threshold needed to end a filibuster.

"He could have saved Citizens United," Reid said, referring to a bill that would have required corporations to disclose their independent-group spending on elections. "He could have been the 60th vote on that and many other things. So I don't need a lecture from him on bipartisanship. He should go look in the mirror."

The issue of Brown's bipartisanship is relevant because he would have another Senate shot in a special election if the Obama administration were to pick Massachusetts' senior Democratic senator, John Kerry, for a post such as secretary of state or defense. Brown declined Tuesday to rule out running for such an open seat, though he did praise Kerry as an excellent choice for secretary of state.

Reid suggested that should Kerry leave the Senate, Democrats would have nothing to fear from another Brown run, even though Brown is still relatively popular in the Bay State.

"We feel very comfortable -- if, in fact, something does happen -- we feel comfortable about Massachusetts," Reid said. "I think that I've already told you how I feel about Scott Brown."

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.



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