Reid defends his barbs toward Angle as pivotal debate looms

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) defended the barbs he's lobbed toward GOP opponent Sharron Angle in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Reid downplayed his campaign's harsh attacks toward Angle as merely part of an effort to "contrast" himself with Angle, with whom he's locked in a neck-and-neck race to the finish for Nevada's Senate seat.

"I have run positive ads, and I have run contrast ads," Reid said in a brief interview with "ABC News." "Every one of my ads doesn't make up things that she has said — I use her voice, I use her speech. These are her words; not mine."

Reid meets Angle tonight for the first and only debate between the pair of this campaign. The has been seen as an opportunity to break open an extremely competitive race, which polls continue to suggest is in a virtual tie.

The most recent poll, released Thursday, shows Angle at 47 percent and Reid at 45 percent with another 4 percent undecided. That Las Vegas Review-Journal/Mason Dixon poll was conducted Oct. 11-12 and has a 4 percent margin of error.

Republicans are hopeful Angle, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, can knock off the top Senate Democrat in a race that would be seen as a huge coup for the GOP if they can pull it off.

Reid's sought to combat that with a heavy rotation of campaign advertising and a major get-out-the-vote effort.

His campaign continued efforts to paint Angle as an extremist with an ad calling her "wild," part of a move to frame the former state assemblywoman as a political extremist going into the debate.

Reid even went so far as to suggest Angle opposed presidential proclamations, which, as an implication, would mean she is opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln's historic document freeing all slaves in the U.S.

"She thinks all presidential proclamations and executive orders are unconstitutional. You know, like the Emancipation Proclamation," he said. "She wants to privatize the VA. Don't you think we need some contrast ads? I think so."