CBSN

Reid Compares GOP Filibusters To Aggravated Assault

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is known for his clumsy rhetoric _ calling President Bush a "loser," saying the Iraq war is "lost," and describing former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan a "hack."

So it should come as no surprise to Senate watchers that Reid on Thursday afternoon seemed to compare Republican filibusters to aggravated assault by stabbing.

But let's provide the right context here. Democrats clearly believe they're getting a good ride out of blaming Republicans for filibusters in the Senate, and Reid joined Democratic leaders on Thursday afternoon at a press conference almost solely focused on Republican obstruction.

Reid and Democrats have pointed to the 72 cloture motions _ which cut off debate and require 60 votes _ as "filibusters." Republicans dispute that these are real filibusters, since many of the motions pass overwhelmingly.

Nonetheless, Reid says Republican contentions that they've only forced 65 or so cloture motions proves the point. Here's the stabbing quote:

"Is it 72, is it 65? It’s like you’re charged with aggravated assault and the complaint says you stabbed somebody 72 times and you say no, it’s 65 times," Reid said.

Reid liked the analogy so much he used it again on a follow up question.

"The picture is clear what the Republicans have done. Whether the stab was 72 times or 65 times _ a lot of filibusters," Reid said. "The American people see what's going on."