WASHINGTON – Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (search) on Monday urged President Bush to stop the Republican National Committee from calling him an obstructionist and criticizing his Senate record, a tactic the GOP used to help defeat Reid's predecessor.
Bush repeatedly has said he wants work with Democrats, most recently during his State of the Union (search) speech last week, Reid noted in a speech on the Senate floor.
"Why didn't he stand and tell the American people last Wednesday that one of the first items of business we were going to do in Washington is send out a hit piece on the Democratic leader?" Reid said.
The Republican committee plans to send a 13-page document to more than a million people — including in Reid's home state of Nevada — analyzing and criticizing his votes and stances before he officially took over as Senate Democratic leader in January.
Republican Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., defeated Democratic leader Tom Daschle last year after the GOP painted Daschle as an "obstructionist" to Bush's agenda and judicial nominees.
RNC spokesman Brian Jones said Reid is picking up where Daschle left off.
"Harry Reid right now is the leader of the party of 'no,'" Jones said. "He is the party's chief obstructionist, and we're going to continue to talk about this in the months to come."
Bush can't divorce himself from what the RNC is doing, Reid said.
The RNC "is the president's organization," Reid said. "He can't say one thing to the American people and then ... send out scurrilous letters saying that I'm a bad guy. In great detail. I mean, is President George Bush a man of his word?"
Jones said Reid is a legitimate target.
"All we're going to be doing in the months ahead is highlighting how Senator Reid's record in many cases is wrong for the people of Nevada and is inconsistent with past statements that he made," Jones said.