Oct. 14, 2010— -- As he fights for his political life in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells ABC News he wishes he could have done more to help his state recover from the recession.
"We have worked really, really hard," Reid told ABC News. "But it was such a deep hole. And I wish we could've done more, and I look back, I realize how much more we have to do."
"Have we done enough? Of course not," Reid said.
Last month, Reid told ABC News he had "nothing to do with" Nevada's economic woes. The state has the highest unemployment rate – 14.4 percent – in the country.
"You know that I had nothing to do with the massive foreclosures here," Reid said last month. "You know that I had nothing to do with these unemployment figures."
Although he now says he wishes he could have done more, Reid says he deserves credit for his work as senate majority leader to boost the economy.
"I kept the Senate in continuous session longer than any time in the history of the country," Reid said. "We have been trying to dig our way out of this immense hole we found ourselves in, and we have a long ways to get out. Eight million jobs were lost in the last administration. We've gotten three-and-a-half million of them back. Have we done enough? Of course not."
On Wednesday, Reid joined with Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood to announce a high-speed rail project called the Desert Express that will bring passengers to and from Las Vegas and southern California.
"Over three years, the Desert Express will bring, we don't really know how many jobs, but well over 30,000," Reid said. "The estimates are from 30- to 40,000. Jobs in construction, commerce, and convention business. Jobs in tourism, transportation."
And on Thursday, Secretary Lahood was once again at Reid's side announcing the completion of another big federal transportation project that Reid helped bring to Nevada: The Hoover Dam Bypass, a massive $240 million bridge adjacent to Hoover Dam.
Reid Suggests Angle Opposes Emancipation Proclomation
Meanwhile, Reid has kept up his relentless attacks on his Republican challenger, Sharron Angle, portraying her as an extremist. The latest: Reid suggested Angle would oppose the Emancipation Proclamation, which, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, freed slaves in the South.
"She thinks all presidential proclamations, executive orders, are unconstitutional. You know like the Emancipation Proclamation," Reid said.
Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen called Reid's allegation ridiculous.
"At this point, Harry Reid's desperate charges are just an embarrassment to himself and his office," Agen told ABC News. "Let's not forget that this is the same Democrat Leader who likened those who opposed his government health care bill to also supporting slavery."
Angle has never said the Emancipation Proclamation was unconstitutional, but she did say earlier this year that she thinks executive orders are unconstitutional.