- (Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)
In response to a reporter's question, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would not support passage of a funding bill even if it saved a kid from cancer. He then derided the reporter as irresponsible and reckless for asking the question.
The question was related to the government shutdown. House Republicans have begun trying to pass smaller funding bills, such as for the District of Columbia, veteran's affairs, the National Park Service and the National Institutes of Health, to at least keep parts of the government open while negotiations continue. Most Democrats have rejected all those bills.
At a press conference, CNN reporter Dana Bash asked Reid why, given that he has spoken of the importance of funding for the NIH, he would reject a bill providing funding for the NIH.
Reid answered that it was because Republicans are "obsessed" with Obamacare.
"What right do they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It's obvious what's going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow! What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. ... They are obsessed with this Obamacare thing. ... "
"But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?" Bash asked.
"Listen. Listen. Why would we want to do that?" Reid answered. "I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base sitting home. They have a few problems of their own."
Reid then bashed Bash.
"To have someone of your intelligence suggest such a thing means you're irresponsible and reckless," he said.
"I'm just asking a question," Bash answered.
Reid later tweeted: "Republicans are in such desperate straits that they have literally resorted to accusing me of not caring about kids with cancer. Shameful."