Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., can be a thorn in the side of Democrats at times, but his persistence and desire to get something done in Congress has gained some praise from the Senate’s top Democrat: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“I met in the last few days with Rand Paul. I spent a lot of time with him, and I’ve grown to really like him,” Reid of Nevada said in a news conference today. “Even though he has some set political views, he wants to get things done here.”
He later added: “I hope I don’t ruin him with the Republicans.”
In his conversations with Paul, Reid said he has discussed the Federal Reserve and ways to bring money that is overseas back to the United States.
“He’s a man, has a lot of very fixed ideas, and I enjoyed my conversation with him,” Reid said.
Perhaps Reid, 74, has forgotten Paul’s comments from last month, when he called the Senate majority leader a “big bully” and a “dictator” for using the so-called nuclear option” to weaken the Senate’s filibuster rules on most of the president’s nominees.
“We’ve got a big bully, Harry Reid says he’s just going to break the rules and make new rules,” Paul, 50, said on CNN last month. “We’ve got one guy in charge of the Senate, and basically, he’s become the dictator of the Senate.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters he wasn’t surprised Paul and Reid have recently engaged in conversations, noting that he himself often talks to the Kentucky senator while working out in the Senate gym.
“Rand Paul always reaches out. I’ve talked to him a lot of times in the gym,” Schumer said. “One of the discussions we had last Thursday on the bicycle led to us not being here this weekend.
“Rand Paul is the kind of guy, he has very strong set views on many issues,” Schumer added. “But he’s not one of these people who says, ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody.’”