'Cheerleader' Harry Reid: Hillary would be a better president than Bill Clinton

Olivier Knox
Yahoo News
FILE-This Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 file photo Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. walks to meet with fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington. By the skin of their teeth, congressional lawmakers passed a $1 trillion budget through next summer, approved all military spending and passed a series of tax breaks. Amid sometimes high-stakes drama, Congress got it all done in a flurry of last-minute legislating and back-room deals during the lame-duck session. It was also Reid's final few weeks as Senate majority leader. The Nevada Democrat will hand over power to Republicans when the new Congress takes over in January.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)
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FILE-This Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 file photo Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. walks to meet with fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington. By the skin of their teeth, congressional lawmakers passed a $1 trillion budget through next summer, approved all military spending and passed a series of tax breaks. Amid sometimes high-stakes drama, Congress got it all done in a flurry of last-minute legislating and back-room deals during the lame-duck session. It was also Reid's final few weeks as Senate majority leader. The Nevada Democrat will hand over power to Republicans when the new Congress takes over in January. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)

We're slightly more than halfway through 2013, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting in a new interview that Hillary Clinton will run in 2016, will win — and will be a better president than Bill Clinton. Related: Reid calls himself a "cheerleader" for the erstwhile senator and former secretary of state.

PBS NewsHour reporter Judy Woodruff had asked the Nevada Democrat to weigh in on the next presidential race ("forgive me," she added). Should Hillary run in 2016? Would she win?

"Hillary Clinton may have a bigger fan than Harry Reid; I just don’t know who it would be," Reid responded, calling her work as senator from New York and as President Barack Obama's secretary of state "remarkable."

Reid continued. "I, of course, have such admiration for the president. Remember, the last three or four years he was here we reduced the debt and created 22 million jobs — pretty good deal. And I think that they’re a pretty good team, but she’ll handle things probably even better than he did," he said. (An aide confirmed that Reid meant Bill Clinton, not Obama.)

Reid also had kind words for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — but lashed out at Republican House Speaker John Boehner, condemned the tea party and dismissed one of its champions in Congress, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, as living in “dreamland.”

Are Americans right to hold Congress in contempt? “Yes, of course they’re right: Gridlock. We have gridlock,” Reid said.

“My friend the speaker was on television on one of the Sunday shows and he said, my job isn’t to pass laws; it’s to repeal them,” he went on. “Well, by that metric he’s failed every place because he hasn’t passed any laws and he damn sure hasn’t repealed any.”

As for tea party members, “they represent about 5 percent of the American people, but they veto everything we do here,” the Democrat charged.

Turning to Lee, whom he dubbed “the young man from Utah,” Reid compared his colleague’s efforts to repeal Obamacare while retaining some of its popular provisions to “living in a dreamland.”

And Reid shrugged off Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s warning that he would go down as the worst majority leader in Senate history if he pressed ahead with a rules change designed to limit filibusters.

“Sticks and stones will hurt my bones, but names will never hurt me,” Reid said. “I am very happy.”

Pressed on his relationship with McConnell, Reid replied: “We’ve never been enemies, hated each other. It’s just been a little difficult to work together, and I think things will get better.”

But he suggested that one way to patch things up would be for he and McConnell to meet weekly.

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