Reid: Coons, 'my pet,' will win

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidShutdown risk grows over Flint Overnight Finance: Four days left to avert shutdown | Conservative group bucks spending bill | Lawmakers play catch-up on smartphone banking Reid blasts GOP senator over Flint 'hostage' comments MORE (D-Nev.) on Wednesday predicted to The Hill that Democratic Senate candidate Chris CoonsChris CoonsOvernight Healthcare: McConnell unveils new Zika package | Manchin defends daughter on EpiPens | Bill includes M for opioid crisis Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare Cruz fights domain name handover in hearing MORE will safely win the Nov. 2 general election against GOP nominee Christine O'Donnell.

Reid talked up the New Castle County executive following a memorial ceremony on the Capitol's east steps to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. O'Donnell on Tuesday night won the GOP nomination to face Coons in November — a result that has split the national Republican Party.

But Reid said Coons would have won even if Rep. Mike Castle (R) had prevailed over O'Donnell.

"I'm going to be very honest with you — Chris Coons, everybody knows him in the Democratic caucus. He's my pet. He's my favorite candidate," Reid said.

"Let me tell you about him: A graduate of Yale Divinity School. Yale Law School. A two-time national debate champion. He represents two-thirds of the state now, in an elected capacity. I don't know if you've ever seen him or heard him speak, but he is a dynamic speaker. I don't mean loud or long; he's a communicator. So that's how I feel about Delaware. I've always thought Chris Coons is going to win. I told him that and I tried to get him to run. I'm glad he's running. I just think the world of him. He's my pet."

Asked if he believed the Tea Party movement was hurting the Republican Party, Reid simply said, "Republicans have to decide that."