Few politicians have been as snakey and downright abusive of his powers than former Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid. And yet, he is no idiot, especially when it comes to understanding just how the world of politics works. It is this complete understanding that led him to give a rather dire warning to his fellow party members on a session of CNN’s “The Axe Files” that aired on Saturday.
And his warning was so much like a compliment that President Donald Trump actually thanked the former Democratic leader on Twitter.
He basically said that Trump is a “very smart” opponent and that anyone who thinks he can be easily beat, has “another think coming.”
He told CNN host David Axelrod, “I used to think Donald Trump was not too smart. I certainly don’t believe that anymore.” And he continued, saying, “I don’t think he’s intellectually a powerhouse, but he is basically a very, very smart man.”
Naturally, he couldn’t give the leader of the opposing party the highest compliment. After all, what would it say to his party if he called Trump an intellectual “powerhouse?”
Reid went on to explain himself a bit by saying that Trump smartly finds a way in nearly every argument or disagreement to make sure that his opponents fight or play “on his terms.”
And when Reid was asked about what sort of strategies should be used to beat President Trump, the Obama administration leader said that anything would be a battle.
“What I say initially, and I say right here on your show: Anyone that thinks Trump’s going to be beaten easily should have another think coming,” Reid said.
It’s not too often someone from the opposing party actually compliments the president. But here it is, in all its glory. And President Trump made sure to take advantage of the opportunity and thank Reid for his comments.
He posted on Twitter on Monday, “Former Democrat Senator Harry Reid just stated that Donald Trump is very smart, much more popular than people think, is underestimated, and will be hard to beat in the 2020 Election. Thank you, Harry, I agree!”
It is surprising, in some sense, that Reid would even say think these things let alone say them out loud on national television. After all, this is the same man who ruled the Democrat-ran Senate so absolutely during most of Obama’s administration that even many of his fellow party members became withdrawn in his presence.
He made it known that his primary goal was to keep the Democrats in charge of the Senate, which as a leader of the party, was a good goal. But the way he went about it was pretty much set him up as an authoritarian leader, allowing for no one or anything else to have a say.
Reid was also responsible for making sure the Obama’s appointed judges made it through the Senate safely. In 2013, he used what is called “the nuclear option” to get rid of the filibuster for any judge below the Supreme Court level.
Reid also made sure that 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney did not win by concocting and spreading a lie that he had not paid taxes for nearly a decade. The lie was found to not be accurate, but it didn’t matter, the damage was already done, ensuring Obama another four years in the Oval Office.
And Reid made it clear that he had no regrets about making up such a lie or ruining the career of anyone against him and his party. He told CNN’s Dana Bash in 2015, “Romney didn’t win, did he?” As if this was a reasonable explanation for his lack of any kind of morals.
So the fact that he is now complimenting the president, calling him not only smart but an expert at navigating the pollical minefields he is continuously surrounded by, says a lot.
And this really isn’t the first time he has mentioned his concern for Trump’s political prowess. He said earlier in the year that he was afraid of Trump’s high chances of winning another term in 2020. So Reid’s most recent statements about Trump only give his previous concerns more weight. He was right to warn his party about Trump, he is someone not to be trifled with and someone they should not take on lightly and with any sort of lack in strategic weaponry.