Harry Reid Defends GOP Mega-Donor

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is quick to blame the Koch brothers for just about everything these days, even climate change, but there's one billionaire who is spared the brunt of his criticism.

“I know Sheldon Adelson. He's not in this for money. He's got money," Reid told NBC's Chuck Todd in an interview that aired Thursday. "He's in it because he has certain ideological views."

"Now, Sheldon Adelson’s social views are in keeping with the Democrats on choice, on all kinds of things. He just got a beef with organized labor a few years ago. And he previously was a Democrat," he added.

The Nevada casino magnate left the Democratic Party in recent years because of what he claims are changing attitudes on economic policy and support for Israel. He contributes heavily to Republican candidates and groups, including those in Nevada where Reid likely wishes to stay on good terms.

As chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., Adelson is currently waging a campaign to ban Internet gambling, which he views as a threat to the industry that made him so successful. The Washington Post reported Thursday that Adelson is employing a state-based political network -- an effort similar to the strategy the Koch brothers use -- by funding groups and candidates who lobby on behalf of his cause across the country.

The Kochs, according to Reid, are singularly focused on one thing.

“Understand these are the two richest people in the world. And they are in it to make money. That's their whole goal here -- to add zeroes to their billions," he said.

The Nevada Democrat also railed against Republicans on Thursday, calling them "obstructionists" who are "playing politics and constantly grinding the wheels of the Senate to a standstill."

Watch the clip above.



Harry Reid