After spending three decades in the Senate, 77-year-old Minority Leader Harry Reid is retiring next week.
Reid discussed his long political career in an interview with New York magazine.
The Nevada senator described a meeting with members of his staff in early December to prepare for his final weekly lunch with his peers.
During the prep session a staff member mentioned that Vice President Joe Biden stated he might enter the 2020 presidential race.
“Would you support him? the staffer asked.
Reid replied, “It depends on who’s running. It appears we’re going to have an old-folks’ home. We’ve got [Elizabeth] Warren; she’ll be 71. Biden will be 78. Bernie [Sanders] will be 79.”
— Stillfree59 (@still_free59) December 27, 2016
While many of the Democrats’ leading presidential contenders for 2020 are 70-plus, some have pointed to other potential candidates who are much younger, including Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, 47; Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, 50; and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, 56.
Reid also was asked to comment on the Mattis waiver, a provision to allow retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to hold the position of secretary of defense in the administration of President-elect Donald Trump despite a law prohibiting recently retired officers from serving in that role.
The senator responded, “The waiver should not be granted in this Congress.”
Reid credited hard work for his long political career.
“I didn’t make it in life because of my athletic prowess,” he said. “I didn’t make it because of my good looks. I didn’t make it because I’m a genius. I made it because I worked hard, and I tell everyone whatever you want to try to do, make sure you’re going to work as hard as you can at trying to do what you want to do.”
He said he had done “a number of things because no one else will do it. I’ve done stuff no one else will do.”
Reid said that in the 2012 presidential race, he falsely accused GOP nominee Mitt Romney of not paying taxes because no one else would do it.
“I tried to get everybody to do that. I didn’t want to do that,” he said. “I didn’t have anything against him personally. He’s a fellow Mormon, nice guy. I went to everybody. But no one would do it. So I did it.”
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