Raggio endorses … Reid?

Everyone’s free to make their choices. Longtime Republican state Sen. Bill Raggio has certainly earned that right.

In the announcement below, you will see his agonizing decision to favor Reid over Angle. He takes great pains to point you the personal run-in he’s had with Angle over the years.

Here’s the piece of his rational that I can’t abide. Bill says that: “Having said this, I am not pleased or supportive of many of the issues which Senator Reid has supported and I have told him so. I believe he understands that he must vote more strongly to represent the views of his Nevada constituency in the future rather than a liberal agenda which many feel drifts toward Socialism in America. With that caveat, I will reluctantly vote for Senator Reid’s re-election."

Sen. Reid does not plan to change his ways. He’s already said that if he’s returned to Washington, he’ll support the Obama agenda down the line. So in that, Bill Raggio is dead wrong and picks sides in this race not based on what’s right (in my opinion), but on his personal anger with Angle.

But again, Bill Raggio has earned the right to be Bill Raggio.

In the meanwhile, I hope you’ll catch my Sunday column in which I articulate the one big reason Harry Reid needs to go. You don’t have to agree with me, of course, but I promise I’ll give you something to think about.

October 7, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from Senator Bill Raggio regarding the Reid/Angle U.S. Senate Race

“I was a strong supporter of Sue Lowden in the Republican primary for U. S. Senate. Unfortunately she lost due largely to efforts by the National Tea Party Express and similar national political groups.

“Following the primary, I indicated that I would keep my powder dry and evaluate the two candidates, Senator Reid and Sharron Angle, as the campaign unfolded.

“Only one of these candidates has sought my endorsement, Senator Harry Reid. I haven’t heard from Sharron Angle or talked with her since long before she decided to run against me for State Senate two years ago. After losing to me in a primary, during which she ran a very negative campaign and distorted my record, referred to me as a liar and a RINO, I never heard one word from her, or a concession, or an offer of support. Instead, she lent aid and comfort to an effort to recall me as State Senator.

“Those are personal issues which I was willing to put behind me.

“What is difficult to overlook is her record of being totally ineffective as a four-term assemblywomen, her inability or unwillingness to work with others, even within her own party, and her extreme positions on issues such as Medicare, social security, education, veterans affairs and many others.

“Some supporters tell me we need to support her because we need her vote in the U.S. Senate as a Republican and she ‘can’t do much harm as a junior back bencher’! Since when should this be the criteria on how we select and vote for a U.S. Senator to represent our State?, I ask.

“I am a lifelong Republican and unlike Ms. Angle, I have never changed parties. I have always supported Jeffersonian principles of free enterprise, low taxes, limited government and fiscal responsibility. These were the same principles endorsed by every one of our Republican presidents, since the days of Lincoln, and including President Reagan, whom I knew personally, and who laid down the Republican 11th Commandment: Don’t speak ill of other Republicans. In other words, quit calling dedicated people like former Governor Guinn and many other good Republicans RINO’s and other derogatory terms.

“Other than my inability to accept her extreme and often even radical ideas and positions, if there was any concern about my natural preference to endorse a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, it was removed altogether when Angle, in a secretly taped conversation, expressed her true feelings by slamming and disavowing the Republican Party saying it had ‘lost its standards and principles.’

“For all these reasons, I am unable to support Sharron Angle. We need someone in the U.S. Senate who can be effective, work with others, and best represent the interests of our State.

“Having said this, I am not pleased or supportive of many of the issues which Senator Reid has supported and I have told him so. I believe he understands that he must vote more strongly to represent the views of his Nevada constituency in the future rather than a liberal agenda which many feel drifts toward Socialism in America. With that caveat, I will reluctantly vote for Senator Reid’s re-election.

“As a further note, I oppose almost all of the Obama agenda. The next Congress will need to make changes, certainly in the health care bill and with bailouts which undermine the concept of free enterprise. Barack Obama is not President because of the way I, and others like me, voted. I voted for Senator McCain, who lost in large part because ultra conservative voices bashed both him and President George W. Bush for over a year and then in the last few weeks, asked us to vote for McCain!

“I truly believe most Nevadans, and for that matter, most Americans, are disgusted with negative campaigning and would like to see civility restored to the political process, with both parties working together and seeking responsible compromises in difficult and complex issues.”

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