Reid: Country doesn't care about Tea Party

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) encouraged Republicans to stop listening to the Tea Party, saying the country doesn't care about the grassroots conservative movement.

"The country doesn't care much about the Tea Party,” Reid said Wednesday. “There is a new CNN poll out today that says this very directly.”

Reid was referring to a CNN poll released on Wednesday said that 47 percent view the Tea Party in a unfavorable light.

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The majority leader made his remarks as part of the update in budget negotiations. Talks have resumed between Senate Democrats and House Republicans. Reid has called on the GOP to consider a Democratic offer to cut an additional $20 billion from the 2011 budget. Republicans, under pressure from conservatives allied with the Tea Party movement, are pushing $61 billion in spending cuts.

"Fifty percent of the American people don't want anything to do with the Tea Party,” explained Reid. “Only a small percentage identify with the Tea Party. And the interesting thing, and I think the important thing to the country, is that the Tea Party's unpopularity continues to grow because the American people see how unreasonable they are.”

Reid once again said he hoped Republican leadership in the House would abandon Tea Party elements and cut a deal with Democrats to fund the government for the remainder of 2011.

“So let me reiterate my hope that the Republican leadership recognizes that they can't continue to be pulled to the right by the radical, unrealistic, unreasonable, I repeat, radical and unpopular faction, the Tea Party," said Reid.

The current resolution funding the government expires April 8.

-This story was updated at 2:45 p.m.

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