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Sharron Angle - Harry Reid debate: Reid's opening statement

October 14, 2010 |  6:08 pm

Finally! It's the closest, and most closely watched, race of the midterm elections, and now the long-awaited debate between the two virtually tied Senate candidates. This race has become a proxy for what is happening all over the country -- incumbents facing insurgents. In this case, it's Reid, the leader of Senate Democrats who is seeking his fifth term, versus Republican Angle, a former state legislator and darling of the "tea party" movement. 

Mitch Fox, host of Nevada Week in Review, is moderating in the studio of Vegas PBS. The candidates are standing at podiums. She is in Nancy Reagan red. Ground rules are simple: Each will give a two-minute statement, followed by a series of questions, some submitted by YouTube. Each gets a minute to respond, then a 30-second rebuttal.

Coin flip of a Nevada quarter. Opening goes to Reid.

He talks about growing up in Searchlight. His dad was big and times were tough. When he worked, he sometimes didn't get paid. Mom took in wash from brothels. He segues to economic collapse: "I believe my No. 1 job is to create jobs as United States senator." He touts his tax reform, reducing taxes for small businesses. He says Wall Street reform means they will "never ever be able to do to us what they did to us."

He is halting and slow and checks his notes. Not extremely smooth and seems to be ticking off his talking points. 

-- Robin Abcarian

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 Photo: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press