Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

Regarding Sandy: Vitter Calls Reid an ‘Idiot’

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., can’t get any respect from Republican colleagues in either chamber.

Regarding Sandy: Vitter Calls Reid an Idiot

Reid, center, just can't seem to get any respect. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Last week, it was widely reported that during the fiscal cliff negotiations, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told the Senate’s top Democrat to “go f— himself.” Monday afternoon, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., very publicly called Reid “an idiot.”

Vitter slammed Reid for comments the Senate majority leader made prior to Friday’s Hurricane Sandy aid vote.

“I really do believe it is important that I have the record reflect the reason we have gotten as far as we have on Sandy is because of the senior senator from New York,” Reid said on the Senate floor Friday. “It is too bad that it has taken so long. When we had that devastation from Katrina, we were there within days taking care of Mississippi, Alabama, and especially Louisiana — within days. We are now past two months with the people of New York and New Jersey.

“The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey,” Reid continued. “Almost 1 million people have lost their homes; one million people lost their homes. That is homes, that is not people in those homes.

“So I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already. It has to be done. We have to meet the needs of the American people when an act of God occurs.”

Vitter took Reid’s remarks personally.

“Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents,” Vitter said (and tweeted Monday). “Both Katrina and Sandy were horribly destructive storms that caused real human misery. And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history.”

On Monday, Reid’s office put out a statement saying he didn’t say the right thing.

“In my recent comments criticizing House Republicans for threatening to betray Congress’ tradition of providing aid to disaster victims in a timely fashion regardless of region, I simply misspoke,” Reid said in a statement.

We would like to pause and take time to point out that the amount of damage two major storms inflicted shouldn’t be either a pissing contest or an excuse to call each other names.

Calls to both Reid and Vitter’s offices were not returned, although we did eventually get a hold of the statement Reid’s office put out.

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