Harry Reid: 'Tea Party Is Dying Out'

In an appearance on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed that the Tea Party is “dying out” heading into the 2012 elections.

Here’s Sen. Reid’s exchange with reporter David Gregory:

SEN. REID: Well, I think the tea party’s dying out as the economy’s getting better slowly.

MR. GREGORY: You do think that?

SEN. REID: Oh, sure, no question about it. And, and, and you–and, and you…

MR. GREGORY: Well, we just talked about their, their muscular impact on the process.

SEN. REID: Well, but that’s during the past year. I would hope that the two Republican leaders have learned what took place in the previous year. And, you know, what we have to focus on this year is rebuilding the economy. We have to, and the only way to do that is to create jobs and that’s why the agenda that I’m moving forward on, I hope with some cooperation from the Republicans this time, is to do something about creating jobs. Our surface transportation bill, it’ll save a million jobs, create a lot more jobs, Federal Aviation Administration, that’s more than 200,000 jobs. We’re having a very important piece of legislation, important to this network right here, IP, and that’s of course dealing with informational–with, with making sure that we have intellectual property that’s protected and we need to do that. And that–that’s also job saving. So that’s what we need to work on, things that create jobs and protect the American economy.

In the 2010 midterm elections, the Tea Party was widely credited with having helped propel Republicans to win an historic 63 House seats, six Senate seats, gain six governorships, and gain an unprecedented 680 seats in state legislatures.