Harry Reid on caucus confusion: 'Iowa has forfeited its chance to be number one'

Harry Reid on caucus confusion: 'Iowa has forfeited its chance to be number one'

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBottom line Harry Reid: 'People should not be counting Joe Biden out of the race yet' Warren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad MORE (D-Nev.) said Nevada should replace Iowa as the nation’s first caucuses after Iowa’s “debacle” last week, in an exclusive interview with Vice.

“Iowa has forfeited its chance to be number one. I don't think that'll happen anymore,” Reid told the publication. 

He also noted the lack of a diverse electorate in both Iowa and New Hampshire, where Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE (I-Vt.) won the first-in-the-nation primary Tuesday evening.

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“Since the debacle in Iowa, [pundits] have been talking about, Nevada should be the first state. Why? Because we’re a state that’s heavily diverse,” Reid added. “It’s really a state that represents what the country is all about. So I think that Iowa really was an embarrassment to everybody.”

Nevada’s caucuses on Feb. 22 are the next contest for the winnowing Democratic field.

Reid, who still wields considerable political influence in the state, told Vice he had recently spoken on the phone with Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Judd Gregg: Bloomberg rising MORE (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Budget hawks frustrated by 2020 politics in entitlement reform fight MORE (D-Mass.), as well as former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE, and that while he had not spoken with Sanders in “several weeks,” he regularly spoke to Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, who previously served as a senior adviser to Reid.

Reid told the publication he has made up his mind on who he will cast his vote for but said he would vote early to avoid anyone knowing his choice.

Reid also addressed the candidacy of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who will not compete in the Nevada caucuses but has advanced in the polls amid a barrage of TV advertising.

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“You have to recognize, the man — he really was a good mayor of a huge, huge city, the largest city in America. I like him, I’ve always liked him. Nobody’s done more on guns and climate than he has. No one.”

However, Reid, who in 2012 falsely claimed to have information indicating then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDonald Trump: Unrepentant, on the attack and still playing the victim The Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Yes, Democrats have to defend their African-American base against Trump MORE had paid no taxes for years, said Bloomberg must release his tax returns as soon as possible.

“I believe going back to Eisenhower and Truman, they showed us their taxes, and the only one that hasn't is Trump. So I think tax returns are something that's part of the ballgame,” Reid told Vice. “Any presidential wannabe should do it.”