Mark Pryor runs to the middle; gets punished for it | Arkansas Blog

Mark Pryor runs to the middle; gets punished for it


Sen. Mark Pryor just wasn't made for these hyperpartisan times.

He gave NBC's Chuck Todd an interview. Pryor had criticism for President Obama. He talked about his bipartisan record. He was asked about Senate leader Harry Reid, currently a polarizing figure in partisan wars. Here's how NBC reported his response:

“I would say that I would support Harry Reid if he runs for leader,” he told NBC News in an interview.

Several Democrats have declined to say whether they’ll back Reid, whose unpopularity rivals that of the president. But Pryor was emphatic in saying that blame for D.C.’s dysfunction shouldn’t begin and end with Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

“I would say that everybody’s a part of the problem in Washington,” he said. “And it’s just not the two leaders—I mean, certainly, they’re part of it—but all 100 Senators are a part of the problem. And we need to own up to our responsibility there and we need to work with each other and there are times when we need to buck our leaders and buck our parties and do the right thing for the country.”

Pryor acknowledged a “deterioration” in the comity of the Senate but highlighted his history of bipartisanship, arguing that Arkansas voters know about that record.

“People here, they’re as frustrated with Washington as anybody in the country, they are,” he said. “But they’re not frustrated with me because they know I’ve tried. I’ve tried bringing people together, I’ve been part of many, many bipartisan agreements, including re-opening the government a year or two ago.”

That's the answer of a centrist, striving to be at least a little generous to all. A can't-we-get-along plea.


NBC headline: "Mark Pryor stands by Harry Reid."

Typical oppo headline on Twitter: "Mark Pryor really just  doesn't get it."

ALSO: In private remarks that got taped, The Hill notes that Pryor once said he thought New York's Chuck Schumer would make a better Senate president. He said it would be a good thing if both Republican leader Mitch McConnell got beat and Reid got replaced.

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