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Cortez Masto takes aim at Trump, Heck

Democratic Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto had twin targets in a speech on Monday: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and her GOP opponent, U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev.

Cortez Masto spoke at the Iron Workers International 43rd convention at The Mirage, an event with 1,400 people that also featured Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.

Cortez Masto, a former Nevada attorney general, and Heck, also a physician and brigadier general in the Army Reserve, are facing off for the seat of retiring U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The seat is a rare pickup opportunity for Republicans in the Senate, and the race’s outcome could well determine which party controls the Senate.

“Trump is a hypocrite,” Cortez Masto declared, after criticizing the real estate mogul for having products made outside the U.S. despite claiming to put America first.

Cortez Masto encouraged the audience to look at Trump’s business record, drawing applause and telling them “don’t be fooled.”

Cortez Masto said she doesn’t trust Trump.

“Congressman Heck says Donald Trump is the candidate he trusts on national security and changing our economy,” Cortez Masto said. “Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t want Donald Trump anywhere near our nuclear launch codes.”

Cortez Masto accused Heck of putting party politics ahead of what’s best for the U.S.

“Congressman Heck has even criticized Republicans who stand up to Donald Trump, saying they are hurting the Republican Party,” Cortez Masto said.

A Heck campaign spokesman responded by criticizing Cortez Masto for supporting the Iran nuclear deal.

“When it comes to national security, Catherine Cortez Masto puts her political party first by supporting the Iran nuclear deal and the $400 million cash ransom to the largest state sponsor of terrorism,” Heck spokesman Brian Baluta said. “Anyone who would give an untraceable fortune to terrorists cannot be trusted with Nevada’s security and that includes (Democratic presidential candidate Hillary) Clinton and Cortez Masto.”

Heck’s campaign also pointed to an Aug. 12 news account of an appearance Heck made at Sierra Nevada Republican Women’s Luncheon in Minden. In that account, reported by The Record-Courier, Heck said Republicans criticizing Trump will end up making the party look bad and that it’s important for the party to come together to defeat Clinton.

“There are a lot of things that Donald Trump says that make me cringe,” Heck said in that report. “But there are a lot of things that Hillary Clinton has done that terrify me to death.”

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2904. Find @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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