Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, told HUMAN EVENTS in an interview that attacks against her are unfounded.
Responding to the charge that she wants to eliminate several federal agencies, Angle said, “We know we can’t continue the way we have been going—spend, spend, spend—and expect to have a different result.”
Asked whether she favored abolishing the U.S. Departments of Education and Energy, Angle said: “We need to prioritize those expenditures of the federal government in a, b and c priorities.… And I believe that on the c priority list are things like the Departments of Education and Energy and those are the places where we should begin those defunding.”
Angle said that Harry Reid has lost touch with the people of Nevada.
“We have 14% unemployment in the state of Nevada, the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, and the highest rate of bankruptcy in Nevada,” said Angle. “That is where people must hold Harry Reid accountable, because Harry Reid doesn’t care about their jobs. He doesn’t care that they are having trouble staying in their homes and that’s why Harry Reid needs to be fired.”
Angle, who won her primary with the help of Tea Party groups, has been under intense fire from the liberal media less than two weeks after she won the Republican nomination to face Reid. She chose the venue of HUMAN EVENTS while in Washington to meet with Republican leaders on Wednesday to respond to some of the charges being leveled against her.
The most recent Rasmussen Poll shows Angle leading Reid by a margin of 50% to 39% among likely voters. But in the last week, two high-profile Nevada Republicans—Reno Mayor Bob Cashiel and First Lady Dawn Gibbons—announced they would support Reid over Angle.
When asked about a report in the Washington Post that “she has supported a nuclear reprocessing facility at Yucca Mountain,” Angle shot back: “I don’t believe that that is an exact quote. Usually, there is a difference. I have voted against a repository—or a land fill—at Yucca Mountain and I think that everyone understands that the science has now outpaced the need for a repository of that kind.”
She added that there is “a secure test site which Yucca Mountain is a private part of, but that test site is within that secure area. In that secure test site, we have been doing research and development for years on nuclear materials and we have also been transporting those nuclear materials since 1954 across 400 million miles. It only makes sense that we should explore the potentials for nuclear processing.”
“As you know, we need to diversify our economy and the energy industry would be a great place to begin that diversification.”
The same Post story claimed that as a legislator, Angle had supported “a prison rehabilitation program promoted by the Church of Scientology and involving massage and saunas.”
Seeking to “clear the record,” Angle told us “I am not even sure that the Church of Scientology fits into it at all. You have to make some quantum leaps here.”
She noted “the program itself is a multifaceted program, and it had two protocols: one in the area of withdrawals, and it was a natural withdrawal system. As s you know, that can have some severe physical side effects and the cramping that was involved there required that other people be taught how to relieve the cramping. So that is where it said that people were being massaged.”
“The second protocol was what they called the ‘disintoxification,’ which was actually sweating the drug out of one’s system so that there were no longer any cravings for the drug. This is a very intense potassium, calcium, vitamin, mineral regimen, with a hot rock sauna that sweats the toxins out. Those two protocols were developed by [the late Church of Scientology founder] L. Ron Hubbard, and they had to give him credit. But it is not Scientology, but rather natural homeopathic medicine.”
As to reports she opposed legalization of alcohol, Angle shook her head and replied: “Well, the issue came up from an article that they can’t find the original for, so that makes it suspect in the first place. In the context of the conversation—and it was with a libertarian group—we were talking about legalization of these things because they felt we can’t fight the war on drugs—that was their premise. My premise was that we need to be educating rather than legislating. As a ‘less government’ person, I believe that less regulation is always a better policy, and that is what I was referring to—on all levels.”
She added that Nevada is a “a 24-hour state. We deal with the proper use of alcohol all the time. It is an educational issue and we have problems with legislation.”
Republicans Going Rogue
Some Republicans—notably Reno Mayor Cashell and Dawn Gibbons—have cited the reports as reasons for abandoning their nominee in favor of liberal Democrat Reid.
Angle does not think much of that and believes others won’t when they know more about the GOP renegades. She recalled how Gibbons (the soon-to-be-former wife of Nevada’s Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons) “ran against me for nomination to the House from the 2nd District in ’06. I ran as a conservative and Ms. Gibbons ran as a moderate. So her [opposition] is not a surprise.”
As for Cashell, who is also a former lieutenant governor of Nevada from 1982-86, Angle recalled how “way back in early 2009, he was on the host committee of a fundraiser for Harry Reid. He then backed away because of the ire that arose within the Republican Party in Nevada, when angry Republicans called for his censure. So he backed away from that, saying that his name on a host committee did not necessarily mean an endorsement. Now he has come out and said that he definitely will be endorsing [Reid].”
“My father always said ‘dance with the one who brought you’ and since the Republicans brought him there, it seems like he has not fulfilled his end,” she said.
Angle’s own Republican credentials have come under some fire in the press, with recent news report claiming that in 1984, she switched her registration from Republican to Democrat.
“I wasn’t political in 1984,” she explained, “but I did have a friend in Winnemucca who was a ‘Southern Democrat.’ He was raised in Georgia and when he moved to Nevada he was still a Democrat and he ran for office. I knew that I couldn’t vote in the primary for him if I wasn’t a registered Democrat, so I registered Democrat so I could vote for my friend.”