(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid grew indignant Wednesday when CNN reporter Dana Bash asked him why Senate Democrats won't pass smaller spending bills, as Republicans are trying to do, to keep money flowing to the National Institutes of Health so clinical trials for children with cancer can proceed.
"But if you can help one child with cancer, why won't you do it?" Bash asked at a news conference with Reid and other Democrats.
"To have someone of your intelligence suggest such a thing maybe means you're as irresponsible and reckless" (as Republicans), Reid responded.
Here's the entire exchange:
Bash asked Reid, "You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials. The House is specifically going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH. Given what you said, would you at least pass that? And if not, aren't you playing the same political games as Republicans are?"
Reid responded: "Listen, Senator Durbin explained that very well. And he did it here, and he did it on the floor earlier, as did Senator Schumer. And it's this. What right did 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. They are obsessed with this Obamacare thing. As has been pointed on the floor the last few days, they did the same thing on Social Security. They did the same thing on Medicare. Now they're doing it on this. It's working now, and it'll 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."
Bash tried again: "But if you can help one child with cancer, why won't you do it?"
"Listen," Reid said. "What -- why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have -- they have a few problems of their own. To have someone of your intelligence suggest such a thing maybe means you're as irresponsible and reckless."
Bash told Reid, "I'm just asking a question."
Later in the day, after Reid's remarks aired on CNN and YouTube, Reid tweeted: "Republicans are in such desperate straits that they have literally resorted to accusing me of not caring about kids with cancer. Shameful."