While Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid has some decent things to say about the likely 2016 GOP presidential contenders — he appears to be personally fond of Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — he says he wants former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to lose more than any of them.
Earlier this month Reid thanked Paul, an ophthalmologist by trade, on the Senate floor for offering advice on his recent eye injury. “I like that guy. He is so nice,” Reid said of Paul in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash published Tuesday.
Reid even had good things to say about Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX). He tells Bash of Rubio that he likes that the Florida lawmaker has family ties to Las Vegas and that Cruz is a nice guy.
“Ted Cruz and I disagree on virtually everything,” Reid said. “But on a personal basis, he’s been very nice to me. I don’t think he stands much of a chance, but I admire his tenacity for thinking he does.”
The Nevada Democrat had very high praise for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“I like him very, very much. We’ve worked on stuff together. Whenever I — this will really hurt him, but I’ll do it anyway. Whenever I need to know what’s going on with Republicans — I call Lindsey,” he said.
But when it comes to Bush, Reid was more critical, saying he hopes Bush loses.
“I think he doesn’t know who he is. Out of all candidates we’ve mentioned, I hope he loses,” Reid said.
Of very likely Democratic 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton, Reid pointed to the historic aspect of such a presidency saying, “I think the country is ready for a woman.”
Reid’s take on the field follows his announcement last week that he will be retiring at the end of his term. He quickly endorsed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to succeed him as the Senate’s Democratic leader.
“Schumer has been as loyal to me, as good to me as anybody could be,” Reid said in the same CNN interview. “Once Schumer gets involved in something it’s hard to get rid of him. He’s a brilliant man. He loves the press. He’s very strategic and he’s been good to me and I felt it was an opportunity for him. He’ll do a good job.”