Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on
Saturday labeled John McCain's newest objection to ending the
military's ban on open gay service a “trick.”
The Arizona senator and ranking
Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said he and his
colleagues would continue to oppose repeal of the 1993 law because
the economy is sputtering.
“I will not agree to have this bill
go forward, and neither will, I believe, 41 of my colleagues, either,
because our economy is in the tank,” he said.
During two days' worth of senate
hearings on a Pentagon report that endorsed repeal, McCain said he
wasn't wholeheartedly opposed to repeal of the law, he simply wanted
Quick as a wink, Reid jumped on the
remarks, likening McCain's actions to a Peanuts caricature.
“First, Sen. McCain said he would
seriously consider repealing it if the military leadership thought we
should, and [when] the military leadership said it should be
repealed, he pulled away the football. Then Sen. McCain said he would
need to see a study from the Pentagon. When the Pentagon produced the
study saying repeal would have no negative effect at all, he pulled
away the football again,” he said Saturday on the Senate floor.
“And his latest trick, he said
yesterday that he opposed repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' a
proposal that would be a great stride forward for both equality and
military readiness … because of the economy,” Reid said. “I
repeat, the senior senator from Arizona said he couldn't support
repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' because of the economy.”
In an email to POLITICO.com, McCain
spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan responded: “Perhaps someone should
inform the majority leader the election is over.”