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Reid: But for Me, We'd Be in Worldwide Depression

Reid speaks in DC

FILE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks on Capitol Hill on Sept. 15. (2010 AFP)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is having a heck of a time trying to get re-elected, in part, he says, because people don't want to know that he prevented a worldwide depression.

The Nevada Democrat, whose poll numbers are see-sawing against rival Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle, told MSNBC's Ed Schultz on Thursday night that voters in his state don't feel reassured when Reid tells them of his global achievement because they've fallen so far down the economic food chain.

"We were at the top and we've fallen very hard. So people have been hurting, and I understand that, and it doesn't give them comfort or solace for me to tell them, you know, but for me we'd be in a worldwide depression. They want to know what I've done for them, and that's why it's important for me, any chance I get, to say that my number one job is to create jobs," Reid said, blasting Angle for saying it's not the role of government to create jobs.

Reid's re-election effort has been caught in a spiral lately after briefly surging thanks to several Angle gaffes on the campaign trail. But she appeared to win a recent debate, in part by questioning Reid's fortitude, and her poll numbers have risen above Reid in late polling.

The latest Rasmussen poll has Angle at 50 percent to Reid at 47 percent. The poll of 750 likely voters had a 4 percent margin of error.

Reid, who is having President Obama fundraise for him on Friday night, told the cable news network that he is confident that his get-out-the vote effort -- targeted at early voters -- has been strong thanks to a process started during the 2008 Democratic presidential caucus when Obama won a hair more delegates than rival Hillary Clinton. Clinton won the popular vote.

But Obama's star power in Nevada has faded. This is his third time in the state since getting slammed for saying that businesses in a bad economy shouldn't hold their conferences in Las Vegas.

Obama's job approval rating was 40 percent in the last Fox News battleground state poll. In September, 76 percent of voters thought the president's policies had either hurt the economy or made no difference.

Reid, however, said that Obama has helped Nevada. He noted that first lady Michelle Obama is campaigning for him also.

The first lady's visit may help the majority leader with women after Angle on several occasions has suggested Reid needs to "man up" -- at least on economic issues plaguing the state. That suggestion didn't ring well with the former boxer, who said he's "never had to prove my manhood to anyone."

He also took issue with Angle's depiction of him as a fat cat politician who lives in a Penthouse at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C.

"I have a home in Searchlight, Nevada.  I stay in Washington, D.C., in a one-bedroom apartment, and my penthouse is on the second floor.  How do you like that, a penthouse on the second floor?" he asked. 

Finally, Reid, who's appeared somewhat satisfied that Angle had dug a deep hole for herself by trying to demonstrate that she's color-blind by telling a group of Hispanic students that for all she know they could be Asian, also condemned a Republican Latino group that ran an ad telling Hispanics not to go to the polls because Congress hasn't done anything to fix immigration rules. 

"It's hard for me to comprehend anything so un-American, so unpatriotic, as telling people not to vote. That's why people have looked at America as the bulwark of freedom.  We get to vote," he told Schultz.