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Senator Reid Remarks from NV Dems “Battle Born/Battleground” First in the West Caucus Dinner

Las Vegas, NV – Tonight, U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid welcomed the 2016 presidential candidates to the Nevada State Democratic Party’s “Battle Born/Battleground” First in the West Caucus Dinner at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The following are Senator Reid’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good evening and thank you for joining us. I’m glad to be home.

Thank you to the Nevada Democratic Party – Chair Roberta Lange, Executive Director Zach Zaragoza and all the staff who have worked very hard to put this dinner together.

It is important to note just how far our nation has come under President Obama’s leadership. President Obama brought our economy back from the brink of destruction. Millions now have health care because of the Affordable Care Act. Osama bin Laden has been killed. We have created 13.7 million private sector jobs. Our country has doubled its production of renewable energy.

President Obama has been a champion for working families, advocating for equal pay, a livable wage and access to higher education. He is also taking the most aggressive action in the history of our world to curb the effects of climate change.

From the time he was elected president, Republicans have used every means possible to stop everything the president has tried to accomplish. He tried to work with Republicans in Congress and they refused. This has resuscitated his efforts to use executive action, which has led us to helping repair our broken immigration system.

And yesterday, he addressed the epidemic of gun violence in this country through executive action. Action Republicans blocked even in the wake of cold-blooded mass murders at schools, houses of worship and movie theaters.

With all the good President Obama has done through executive action, on day one, a Republican president would seek to overturn every one of these victories.

With Republicans never ending quest to reverse progress, they have embraced hatred and division as their party platform.

Donald Trump has now risen to prominence by promulgating fear and hatred, exposing the disturbing underbelly of the Republican Party.

Pundits and political commentators scratch their heads wondering why Donald Trump is winning the race for the Republican nomination. But everyone in this room knows exactly why.

It’s very simple: Donald Trump is winning the race for the Republican nomination because their base agree with him. But it’s not just Donald Trump.

Take Marco Rubio, the greatest hypocrite in the race for the Republican nomination. After working to come up with a comprehensive immigration bill, he has now taken a sudden turn against immigration reform. Today he’s calling for the deportation of DREAMers.

And who can ignore the damaging antics of Senator Ted Cruz who has called for a religious test for refugees fleeing terrorism.

Chris Christie went as far as to say that even orphans under the age of five should not be admitted to the United States.

Ben Carson has compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs.”

On every issue imaginable Republicans have turned to the politics of hatred and division.

The radical agenda Republicans are advocating threatens our nation’s economy, the middle-class, working families and the very air we breathe.

That is why our being here is so important. We are here to welcome three candidates for President who embody progressive values that will strengthen our economy and preserve the middle class.

Each of our three Democratic candidates are not purveyors of fear, distrust or disunion. They are advocates of an ever progressive, always improving American.

A Democratic President will address the needs of all Americans.

Few states reflect the growing diversity of our country better than Nevada. Whether it is our growing Hispanic, Asian and African American communities, the large population of young voters or the strength of organized labor, the incredible demographic, regional and cultural diversity of Nevada – this is our strength. This is the strength of America.

We are here tonight to ensure success on February 20th, the day of the Nevada Democratic caucuses.

We will have over two hundred caucus locations across the state and we’re recruiting over one thousand precinct captains and volunteers to make the caucuses a success.

On February 20th, we will take the first step in winning Nevada for the Democratic nominee for President.

This year is shaping up to be a year of historic opportunity for Democrats and we must maximize it up-and-down the ballot.

We must preserve President Obama’s legacy by taking back the U.S. Senate, re-electing Dina Titus, put more Democrats in the House of Representatives. We must reclaim a majority in the Nevada State legislature.

For U.S. Senator from Nevada, I’ve watched Catherine Cortez Masto grow, from being Gov. Miller’s chief of staff to serving as a crime-busting prosecutor and later as Attorney General where she excelled. She is nationally known for going after predators and the big banks. She works with integrity.

She would be the first Latina Senator in American history. That’s something for Nevada to be proud of.

Her opponent Rep. Joe Heck would be a tremendous detriment to the Silver State and the U.S. Senate.

A few weeks ago he voted once again to shut down the government. This is a man who has faithfully towed the radical line of the Tea Party in Congress. The grandson of Italian immigrants who has voted to deport DREAMERS and supports ending birthright citizenship. An osteopathic physician who stands against expanding quality affordable health care to all Americans. Nevada cannot allow him to unravel the progress of the last seven years or damage the decades of victories we have won together for fairness.

The stakes are too high in this election, we cannot afford to lose. The American people are counting on us.

With candidates like Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carrying the banner of our party, we will win.

As the Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley he fought tirelessly to strengthen Maryland’s economy and protect working families. And he has been very good to Nevada.

While serving in Congress as a House member and Senator, I have watched Senator Sanders proudly stand for his progressive values. He has served admirably as Chairman of the Budget Committee and Veterans Committee. We are glad he has spent so much time in Nevada these last months.

I admire and respect Hillary Clinton for a number of reasons. I watched her serve with distinction as First Lady. As Senator from New York she was on the front lines for children, women and families. As the 67th Secretary of State she traveled further than any other Secretary of State to troubled spots around the world. She too has been a friend of Nevada for many years.

And now I would like to welcome to the stage the 2016 Democratic candidates for President of the United States – Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders.