Bruised but Unbowed, Reid Plans for Future

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After accident, Reid says Senate re-election bid is on track.

WASHINGTON — With white gauze over his right eye and deep purple bruises visible along his jaw, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada on Thursday held his first on-camera news conference since suffering injuries in a fall three weeks ago, seeking to dispel worries about his health and repeatedly saying he would seek re-election in 2016. “My wife and I were in our new home, I was doing exercises I’ve been doing for many years with those large rubber bands, and one of them broke and spun me around, and I crashed into a cabinet and injured my eye,” he said, sitting at the head of a wooden table as photographers clicked away. “It didn’t knock me out, but it sure hurt.” On Monday, Mr. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid says he’s still on track to run for reelection next year despite the grievous injuries he suffered while exercising.The NFL says its investigation into whether the New England Patriots used underinflated footballs in the AFC championship game is ongoing after a report claimed the league found 11 balls were not properly inflated. | AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File “As far as how much weight is in a football, as far as I know I can’t believe the National Football League with the billions of dollars they make couldn’t at least determine how much air should be in a football and why it should be left up to the team,” Reid said, according to The Hill.

Speaking to a crowd of reporters in a room near his personal Senate office, the Nevada Democrat said doctors will move a bone that’s pressing against his eye and will drain blood that has pooled in the front and back of it, which has caused temporary blindness on his right side. “They’re going to have a reconstruction of that bone there. The NFL requires footballs inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch; 11 of the 12 Patriots’ game balls used against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday were reportedly underinflated.

He said doctors are “confident that I’ll be really quite good after that.” It’s been more than three weeks after the injury, and in addition to the eye bandage, Reid has discoloration evidently caused by bruising that runs from the right side of his jaw to his neck. Reid’s comments sparked a minor Twitter battle between Brad Dayspring, a former spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Reid’s spokesman, Adam Jentleson.

He is scheduled to undergo surgery next week to move some broken facial bones, but told reporters the he and his doctors expect that he will make a full recovery. Reid’s staff has worked aggressively since the accident to demonstrate that he has been able to tend to his duties as a Nevada senator and party leader. Despite missing the start of the new Congress, the senator – pilloried by Republicans for the closed way he ran the Senate as majority leader – has been watching from afar. He was adamant that the incident hadn’t changed his plans for his political future. “This question was asked me before the break, and I answered it the same way I’m answering it now: I plan to run,” Reid said.

But he was emphatic that he planned to run again for the Senate. “We have quite an operation in Nevada that hasn’t lost a step, and we’re off and running,” he said. “At this stage, I’m fully intending to run.” Mr. Reid, who wore an eye patch during the appearance, said he has had to limit his reading and to lay off heavy lifting, but he’s up to walking for about an hour at a time. Reid, an avid reader, said he was keeping busy and had switched to audiobooks during his recovery. “I’ve quite enjoyed it, to be honest,” he said. “I never thought I would.” He also declined to give Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the new majority leader, a grade on his performance so far. On the president’s push for free trade in his State of the Union message, Reid – who doused that idea after last year’s address – again poured water on it.

Reid opened the news conference with an attack on Republicans and their demands for changes in President Barack Obama’s immigration policy in exchange for providing funding for the Department of Homeland Security. “The first thing I want to say is this. I plan on running.” He walked into and out of the room with no help from crutches or staff, and though Reid said he’s occasionally taking Tylenol for pain he dismissed the significance of breaking four ribs with a classic Reid-ism. Reid, who said he had been taking Tylenol “once in a while” to help with pain, added that he had learned a thing or two about his ribs. “Oh, my ribs?

I just think is so out of line.” Reid, who once practiced law, declined to say if he is considering a liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the exercise resistance band that he said caused the accident when it broke as he was using it. He echoed other Democrats in warning that he would not be on board with a push for Obama’s free-trade agenda or his request for authority to “fast-track” trade deals. “I have always been suspect, over my entire career in Congress, of these trade agreements,” Reid said. “I don’t support fast track.

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