Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has infuriated the publisher of Nevada's largest-circulation newspaper with a "boorish" and "asinine" remark about the paper's future.
Sherman Frederick, publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, wrote in a column on Sunday that the comment came before a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday.
As Bob Brown, the newspaper's advertising director, shook hands with the Nevada Democrat, Reid told him: "I hope you go out of business," according to Frederick.
The Review-Journal has run frequent editorials attacking the Senator, including one on Aug. 6 that suggested he was handing out pork-barrel presents as he prepared for a re-election bid in 2010, The New York Times reported.
Reid may also have been disturbed by a recent Review-Journal poll that showed he faces a tough fight to win another term.
Frederick wrote: "You could call Reid's remark ugly and be right. It certainly was boorish. Asinine? That goes without saying.
"But to fully capture the magnitude of Reid's remark (and to stop him from doing the same thing to others) it must be called what it was — a full-on threat perpetrated by a bully who has forgotten that he was elected to office to protect Nevadans, not sound like he's shaking them down.
"No citizen should expect this kind of behavior from a U.S. senator."
The Review-Journal poll released on Aug. 23 showed Reid trailing possible Republican rival Danny Tarkanian by 11 percentage points. Tarkanian, a real estate professional and former basketball player at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, got 49 percent of the vote to Reid's 38 percent.
Reid also trailed Nevada Republican Chairman Sue Lowden, who received 45 percent of the votes to Reid's 40 percent.
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