By now most people are aware of the antics of Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle. Every time she opens her mouth it is news, from her denunciation of the department of education to her absurd claim that rape victims should make rape lemonade. Her ongoing battle with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has led her to pull her website and its controversial contents and replace it with a tamer, more mainstream site, while Reid’s campaign has responded by reposting her original insight, leading her to claim he is mispresenting her somehow by using her own words.
Angle is her own problem and her own worst enemy.
Now she has stepped in it again. While claiming to be an agent of change, an outsider determined to make changes, she is at once claiming the Republican Party has not supported her and at the same time claiming she has “juice” in Washington. You see, she’s afraid a true outsider, Scott Ashjian, who is running as an independent, threatens her chances and gives Reid a better chance of winning.
And she told Ashjian so. “I go to Washington, DC and want to see Jim DeMint, he’s right there for me. I want to see Tom Coburn, he’s right there for me. I want to see Mitch McConnell, he’s there.”
Unfortunately for Angle, Ashjian recorded the conversation. And now he has made it public.
Angle offered Ashjian access to Republican senators “whatever juice I have” to make him understand he was harming Tea Party interests. “Anything I can deliver personally I am glad to,” she told him.
Ashjian is unlikely to be convinced since he has already triumphed over several attempts to have him removed from the ballot. He said he is here to stay and it seems he means it. At the moment, Red and Angle are neck and neck, so it is easy to understand why Angle would want him not disturbing the waters. Ashjian has 5 percent of the votes according to those same polls. In such a close race, that could make all the difference.
The real embarrassment here for Angle is her criticisms of the Republican Party. She has their juice but “The Republicans have lost their standards, they’ve lost their principles…..Really that’s why the machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me…..They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government.”
“We have them in a box” she told Ashjian.”
Angle: “The one thing you said about the machinery that has endorsed me, they have no choice… …it’s me or Reid…that’s what they got…. also this is such a national race…so really we have them in a box…they are coming to us and saying, ‘We know we got to support you.’ ….In some ways, it’s exactly where we wanted that good old boy thing is in the box…(She then begins using an analogy about David and Goliath, and David shedding his armor.) ‘You gotta get my armor off and let me pick up this slingshot’…..that’s where I am right now, get them to leave me alone for long enough so I can…. go after this guy…. you (Ashjian) have tapped into it, the essence of America….and the essence of America is we are tired of politics as usual… only thing that’s different between you and I is I guess I was pragmatic enough to know…that third parties can’t get traction….so I said all right, I’ll work with it. just show me what the rules are and I’ll work with it…the rules are there are Democrats and Republicans…so I moved myself up within the Republican ranks….they have no choice, I’m the only game in town…. There was no one more shocked than they were when I won that primary, when I went back to Washington DC, they were still moaning and groaning and weeping and gnashing teeth over Sue Lowden…And I said I am what ya got, this is it.”
She’s really feeling her oats now. Yessir, she went to Washington, D.C. and they were all “moaning and groaning and weeping and gnashing teeth” and she gave it to them with both barrels: “I am what you got.”
She also defended her decision to run as a Republican as a means of shaking up the two-party system.
There you go Mama Grizzly!
Problem for Angle: Ashjian ain’t taking it and he leaked the tape to journalist Jon Ralston. As Ralston reported, the tape reveals some interesting things:
—-Angle’s open disgust with her own party’s leaders and principles (or lack thereof)
—-James’ obvious abandonment of Ashjian’s candidacy and insistence that Angle will lose unless he withdraws and that there is still time to get his name off the ballot
—-Some brief trashing of Sen. John Ensign by Ziser and Ashjian
—-Ashjian’s claims of physical threats and of being followed
—-Angle’s agreement with him that both major parties are “corrupt”
—-Angle’s claim to have taken over the Washoe County Republican Party and having her “guys” in the Clark County GOP
—-Her promise to deliver to Ashjian “anything I can personally,” including an apology from the Tea Party Express after the election.
Ralston said of the tapes revelations: “I can just hear it now: The woman who calls the majority leader “Let’s Make a Deal Harry Reid” becomes “Let’s Make a Deal Sharron Angle”
Ashjian comes off as the more principled here. He could have sold out to her promises and agreed to go along with her but he refused to sell out. Angle promised that if she was elected she would help him achieve his goal of shaking up the two-party system but Ashjian was having none of it. He said Angle in a nice person but her offers are exactly what is wrong with politics today. “She has given up her principles for the election.”
“Sharron expressed what many working families in Nevada and across the country are feeling,” Angle campaign spokesman Jarrod Agen said. “They are angry with Harry Reid. They are angry with Washington, D.C., and they want blunt plain-spoken leaders who are willing to shake things up.”
Shake things up, Jarrod, or sell out?
All this is a godsend for Harry Reid, and he is already trumpeting the conversation.
To listen to the original recording, go here.