Bill Clinton: Voting for Sharron Angle Would Be "Unbelievably Negligent"

Former president Bill Clinton, left, shakes hands with Nevada Sen. Harry Reid at the end of a rally Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
Former president Bill Clinton, left, shakes hands with Nevada Sen. Harry Reid at the end of a rally Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

In a campaign appearance for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday night, former President Bill Clinton urged voters to re-elect their Democratic Senator - with some harsh attacks against his Republican opponent, Tea Party-backked candidate Sharron Angle.

"The only reason this is a tough race is because this is a tough time. When people are mad, it's hard to think," Mr. Clinton said, speaking to a crowd of more than 1,000 supporters at Las Vegas's Valley High School, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

"I am old enough to tell you, if you forget about politics, any time in your life you make an important decision when you're mad, there's an 80 percent chance you're going to make a mistake," Mr. Clinton said, the Washington Post reports.

The former president implied that electing Sharron Angle could actually put voters in physical danger due to her support for some highly controversial initiatives, including "massive cuts" for air traffic controllers.

"Who gets to decide which airports are unsafe?" Mr. Clinton asked. "Maybe Sharron Angle will volunteer Vegas."

"It would be unbelievably negligent to say, 'I know you're right but I'm just too mad. I've got to vote for this woman -- this woman who doesn't want women to have mammograms in their health insurance policies. Who thinks autism is sort of a flaky, made-up deal,'" Mr. Clinton added.

Angle has repeatedly voiced her opposition to any form of government-imposed mandates for health coverage, including for treatments related to cancer and brain disorders. In a September speech, she mocked the legitimacy of autism, which she referred to using air quotes.

"I don't want people to abandon their anger," Mr. Clinton urged, at the rally. "I want then to channel it so they can think clearly."

The former president - who was appearing at his second event for Reid this year - emphasized that he thought the Senate majority leader was being unjustly targeted by Republicans in what has become an increasingly brutal congressional campaign.

"He's been good for you," the former president said, of Reid. "He's been treated to this unbelievable abuse."

Harry Reid Pleads with Nevada: Remember All I've Done
Harry Reid Attack Ad: He Backed Viagra for Sex Offenders!
Sharron Angle on Secretly Recorded Tape: GOP Leaders Should "Leave Me Alone"
Critical Contests: The Key Races Which Will Decide Election 2010


Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.