President Obama said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) might not give reporters the best quote, but he’s a good ally to have in a legislative fight.
At a Democratic fundraiser in Hollywood Monday night, Obama commended Reid for his work in Congress.
“I’ll tell you what, although Harry may not win any contest for best sound bite on CNN, if you’re in a fight, you want Harry Reid in your corner,” Obama told about 120 people at the $16,200-a-person fundraiser.
During the government shutdown last month, Reid caught fire from Republicans when he made an inelegant comment that made it appear he did not care about children with cancer. Reid was trying to make a broader point that Republicans should not be able to pick and choose which federal agencies get funded.
Obama also used a common refrain by saying he intends to see House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) back with the Speaker’s gavel after 2014. Pelosi and Reid both attended the event.
“And nobody has fought harder for the American people and for working families in this country than Harry — with the possible exception of the person who has been one of the finest Speakers that we’ve ever had and who I intend to see Speaker once again, Nancy Pelosi.”
Reid, the former boxer and deft political leader, was partially credited for brokering a deal to end the government shutdown last month. The Senate majority leader has not been modest about his own political skills.
When talking about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who helped orchestrate the GOP tactic that led to the shutdown, late last month, Reid said, “He might be able to work a calculus problem better than I can. But he can't legislate better than I can."
Obama made the remarks at his second of two fundraisers in Hollywood on Monday night. The first was held at Magic Johnson’s house.
— updated at 10:30 a.m.