During a press conference on Capitol Hill, CNN's Dana Bash asked Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) about the government shutdown's effect on kids' cancer trials.
When asked about the back and forth by CNN's Jake Tapper, Bash replied, "I have covered Harry Reid for a very long time. That is sort of classic Reid and it's kind of the kind of response that sometimes gives his staffers and those who are here and those who have been here before a little bit of heartburn. But I think big picture, what you are seeing is Democrats trying to stay on message, trying to stay firm with their insistence that they will not pass anything except for one big bill that funds the entire government and nothing else. And the reason is obvious, because they know once they agree to chip away at some of those agencies, even those that many people care about, then they are giving up some of their leverage. Part of the reason why I asked him that question is because he says we don't pick and choose. Well, they already did in some sense pick and choose in that Congress passed a bill, the president signed it into law, making sure that men and women of the military get their salaries.So they are, you know, playing some favorites here, and that's just the reality."
A transcript of the question by Bash and the answer by Sen. Reid is after the jump.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CNN Political Ticker: Reid gets fiery over question about shutdown's effect on clinical trials for kids
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: What right do they have to pick and choose what part of government's going to be funded? It's obvious what's going on here.
You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don't know what other word I can use. I don't know what other word I can use. They are obsessed with this Obamacare thing. It's working now and it will continue to work and people will love it even more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But if you can help one child who has cancer why wouldn't you do it?
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Why pit one against the other?
REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is - to have someone of your intelligence suggest such a thing...
REID: ... irresponsible.