Former President Barack Obama has ridiculed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for saying that Harry Reid never said a bad word about anyone. But the late senator said he always agrees to work with others.
Obama described his first meeting with Reid when he was elected to the Senate in 2005.
“No more small talk. In fact, no more talk,” Obama said. “Half the time his voice was so soft I could not hear what he was saying.”
After the conversation, Obama said, Senator Dick Durbin asked how it happened.
“I said, ‘I do not know. The whole conversation lasted 10 minutes. He’s not particularly happy that I took his time,'” Obama said. “” Don’t worry, “Dick said.” If Harry hadn’t liked you, it would only have lasted five minutes. “
The former president recalled Reid telling him that even if Reid was not an athlete, he could have a punch and he would never give up.
“The same tough determination marked Harry’s life,” he said, highlighting the failed campaigns of the late politician before he finally came to the Senate. But Harry did not give up.
“Then being tough, being a fighter, is one of Harry’s traits,” Obama said.
The former president said Reid knew how to listen and learn, and praised him for his ability to change his mind on certain issues.
Obama discussed part of his signature Affordable Care Act, which he said would not have been passed without Reid’s hard work. “Harry refuses to give up, he puts as much pressure as he can,” Obama said.
“For all of Harry’s toughness – all of his tough views on politics – Harry loved his family, he loved his staff,” he said. “Harry is a true and loyal friend.”
“During my time in the Senate, he was more generous to me than I expected,” Obama said. “Despite my youth and my inexperience, he was one of the first people who inspired me to run for president, believing that I could really win, even though I was an African American. For us.”
He said Reid had fought on his side during his campaign and throughout his presidency. “It’s a debt to him, and I can not repay it in full,” Obama said.
Obama said the two spoke on the phone from time to time after leaving office.
“The whole conversation lasts about five minutes, but in those five minutes, he’s more communicative than some people communicate in a few hours,” Obama said. “He’s Harry – someone who knows what’s important and does not believe in what’s not.”
Obama cited Reid’s former colleague who said the senator did not say goodbye. But the former president said those gathered on Saturday should tell him.
“Goodbye, Harry. Thank you for all. Nevada has never been a great champion. The Senate and the nation have benefited from your extraordinary leadership, and I could not have asked for a better, truer friend. I definitely loved you again.”