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Sharron Angle: Harry Reid is responsible for economic decline

By Felicia Sonmez

Former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R) took aim today at an assertion by her rival in Nevada's Senate race, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that he is not to blame for the country's economic woes.

"Understand that Harry Reid was Senate majority leader in the Bush years," Angle said in an interview that was aired today on the ABC-Washington Post "Top Line" program. "He's been responsible through several administrations. He's been voting on these policies that have really become the problem."

Angle was responding to remarks Reid made during an interview aired yesterday in which he said he had "nothing to do with" the economic downturn.

In the neck-and-neck Senate race, Reid has portrayed Angle as out-of-touch and extreme for her positions on Social Security and the proper role of government in every day life.

Angle brushed off that criticism today and contended instead that she's the candidate most in line with the majority of voters.

"I'm a mainstream American, and mainstream Nevada understands that very well that I promote what they believe, which is lower taxes, less government regulation; that the true issues are the economy, our jobs, our homes," Angle said, adding that Reid is the one who has "forgotten what Nevada is all about."

Nevada's 14.3 percent unemployment rate is the highest in the nation; the state is also struggling with record foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.

In the interview, Angle also defended some of her previous comments that Reid's camp has seized upon as examples of her extremism.

One of those remarks was Angle's statement in an April interview with TruNews Christian Radio that entitlement programs "are built to make government our God" and that "what's happening in this country is a violation of the First Commandment."

Angle defended her comments today, explaining that she was talking "in very Christian" terms since it was a Christian radio interview. "The language I used was that in our country, we have become a country that has put our faith not, 'In God we trust' ... but, 'In government we trust,'" Angle said. "That is what I was referring to -- that we have allowed government in many ways to take the place of God," she added.

Angle also defended her remarks that Americans may consider taking up "Second Amendment remedies" against a government that has lost its way. She explained that she was discussing the founding fathers and why they put the Second Amendment into the Bill of Rights.

"They felt that there were times when governments became tyrannical, that we needed to have a place for the people to be able to secure the blessings of liberty, which is what they did in the Revolutionary War," Angle said.

And on her agreement with another radio host that there are "domestic enemies" within the walls of the Capitol, Angle said that "certainly people who pass these kinds of policies -- Obamacare, cap-and-trade, stimulus bailout -- they're certainly not friends to the free-market system."

The "Top Line" interview, which took place in Nevada last week, marked one of Angle's rare non-scripted interactions with the national press since she won her party's nomination in June.

National Democrats have portrayed Angle as evidence that the Republican Party has been co-opted by extreme elements. But Angle cited several current members of Congress including Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Reps. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as legislators who "already think like I do."

"I'll fit in just fine," Angle promised.

By Felicia Sonmez  | September 8, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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