Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took center stage as a figure of scorn and contempt at the annual summit of a conservative group founded by the Koch brothers over the holiday weekend.
The Nevada Democrat has enraged Republican nationwide during the past few months while waging war on billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, accusing them of being "un-American" and trying to buy the elections by backing GOP groups and candidates ahead of the November midterms.
But Politico reported
that the 3,000 attendees at the Americans for Prosperity's eighth annual Defending the American Dream summit had their chance to get even by constantly making Reid the object of derision during the event, underlining the deep-seated bitterness over the Democratic leader's attacks.
The meeting featured derisive videos of Reid, speeches denouncing him, and even a life-size cardboard cutout that provided countless selfies mocking him while others just made biting comments about the senator as they walked by it.
Mounted on a foam board and prominently placed outside the main hall, the cutout was made from a photo of the senator, clad in a dark suit with his arms crossed defiantly and his head cocked with a smug grin on his face, according to Politico, which said the event should have been called the "Hating on Harry Reid" summit.
The Defending the American Dream conference in the Dallas Omni Hotel in Texas set the tone for the weekend by launching a video of Reid attacking the Kochs on the Senate floor, which drew loud boos from the crowd.
With potential 2016 presidential candidates Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Gov. Rick Perry among the featured guests, AFP President Tim Phillips accused Reid of hypocrisy for attempting to portray the GOP as a party which puts the interests of the rich over the middle class.
"Morning after morning, in his assault to finally end the 1 percent, Harry Reid leaves the Ritz-Carlton penthouse in Washington, D.C., where he lives," Phillips said, referring to Reid's one-bedroom condo in the hotel, which he bought in 2001 for $750,000, the political news website said.
The group's president also drew a chorus of jeers when he went on to say that Reid then "goes down and hops in a chauffeured limousine — thank you, taxpayers, you cover that for him. He drives to the Senate floor to launch attack after attack after attack."
"Here's the irony: David and Charles Koch create more prosperity for more Americans in one year than a career politician like Harry Reid creates in a lifetime."
With applause still echoing in the hall, he added, "The American people have caught on, too. They know how disastrous his policies are and how failing his leadership is. And you get the feeling, don't you? You get the feeling that one day soon, Harry Reid is going to join Nancy Pelosi as a former majority leader in the United States Congress."
When Cruz mentioned "Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats" during his speech, there was another round of boos. "You know, oddly enough, they get that reception everywhere they go," he said with a smirk, Politico reported.
The Republican senator made Reid the butt of his jokes before he turned serious and slammed Reid for "ignoring the national security priorities of this country."
Cruz added: "If you believe in the First Amendment, vote Harry Reid out. If you support the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, then vote Harry Reid out. If you support the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights to privacy, vote Harry Reid out. If you support the Tenth Amendment and want to repeal every word of Common Core, then vote Harry Reid out."
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