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Harry Reid's 13 Bluntest Quotes

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid drew flak—especially from the right—after ineloquently responding to a question from CNN's Dana Bash about kids with cancer who, due to the government lockdown, are unable to undergo clinical trials run by the National Insitutes of Health. (Bash: "But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?" Reid: "Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own.") And Friday morning, Politico reported that Reid, at a Senate Democratic policy luncheon on Tuesday, said of House Speaker John Boehner: “He’s a coward. He's a coward!”

"I didn’t take lessons on how to speak on television, and I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about who I am," Reid once told The New York Times. "I don’t like to read stuff about me, but I’ve become accustomed to it: you know, ‘Reid misspeaks.’ I’d rather people were saying, 'Oh, that guy is a golden-tongued devil.'” Perhaps he's a little bit of both. Here are 13 more examples of Reid's blunt, undisciplined tongue.

1. "I can't stand John McCain." — August 2008

2. "[Reid] was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.'" — Game Change, the 2010 book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann 

3. "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. — January 2013 

4. "I ate shit on some of those nominees." — July 2013 

5. Nuclear Regulatory Commission member William Magwood is a "first-class rat," "treacherous, miserable liar," "shit stirrer," and “one of the most unethical, prevaricating, incompetent people I’ve ever dealt with.” — July 2012

6. "Get a life." — to House Republicans last week

7. "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican." — August 2010

8. "[George W. Bush's] father is a wonderful human being. I think this guy is a loser." — May 2005 

9. “President Bush is a liar.” — September 2009

10. “Your dog is fat.” — to President Bush, as reported in This Town, by Mark Leibovich

11. “Do you have a learning disability?” — to a young staffer, as reported in This Town, by Mark Leibovich

12. “I think that [Clarence Thomas] has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.” — December 2004

13. "I'm not a big Alan Greenspan fan. I think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington." — March 2005

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Mark Leibovich's last name.