Sen. Mark Pryor has distanced himself from President Obama as he campaigns for reelection, however he does not appear to be running away from an association with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
“I would say that I would support Harry Reid if he runs for leader,” Pryor said in an interview with NBC News Wednesday.
Reid, like Obama, has low approval ratings, but Pryor told NBC News that there is blame to go around for the dysfunction in Washington.
“I would say that everybody’s a part of the problem in Washington,” Pryor said to NBC News. “And it’s just not the two leaders [Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)]–I mean, certainly, they’re part of it–but all 100 Senators are a part of the problem. And we need to own up to our responsibility there and we need to work with each other and there are times when we need to buck our leaders and buck our parties and do the right thing for the country.”
Pryor is in a tight bid for reelection against Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) who has sought to tie the incumbent to the the unpopular president and his policies, arguing that the Arkansas Democrat votes with Obama over 90 percent of the time.
Speaking to NBC News Pryor conceded that people are unhappy with the dysfunction on Capitol Hill, but stressed that Arkansans know his bipartisan record.
“People here, they’re as frustrated with Washington as anybody in the country, they are,” he said. “But they’re not frustrated with me because they know I’ve tried. I’ve tried bringing people together, I’ve been part of many, many bipartisan agreements, including re-opening the government a year or two ago.”
Of Obama, Pryor said, “I wish that he was more in touch with rural America.”
He went on to add that he is more interested in working together to accomplish things rather that the party in power, saying, “from my standpoint, it doesn’t matter as much who’s in the White House or who’s even in control of the Senate, let’s just work together and get it done.”