Reid is in the fight of his career as he seeks a fifth term. Angle, a former state legislator, has the momentum of a come-from-behind primary victory and the support of the Tea Party.
Angle was famous as a state legislator for voting "no" so often that votes in the assembly were described as "41 to Angle."
"My opponent doesn't like any insurance companies to have to do anything," Reid said, emphasizing the candidate's opposition to funding for mammograms and colonoscopies.
"America is a country of choices, not forcing people to buy things that they don't need," Angle said of so-called "Obamacare," invoking a theme she cited frequently throughout the night. "The solution is simple: We need to get the government out."
"Insurance companies don't do things out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it out of a profit motive and they have almost destroyed our economy," Reid fired back.
Reid countered, "We had to do health insurance reform to remain competitive in the world economy. And it creates jobs--thousands and thousands of jobs," Reid added.
"What we have here is an illegal alien problem and the solution is simple: secure the borders, enforce the laws," Angle said. "We should be supporting Arizona."
On economic issues, Angle reiterated her belief that job creation does not fall under the job description of a U.S. Senator, arguing. "It's your job to create policies that create the confidence for the private sector to create those jobs."
"That'd be a no?" the moderator prompted, pushing for a firm yes or no answer to his question.
"I believe my job is to create the policies that will encourage private sector to do what they do best," she responded. "We need to get back to work," Angle said. "The way we do that is by encouraging the private sector to do what they do best. [Employers] are in a cloud of uncertainty & they're holding back $2 trillion that they would like to invest in jobs. They have lost confidence because of things like Obamacare."
But Reid, too, is known for making strange remarks. Angle tried to score by reminding the debate audience that Reid had once said the Iraq war had been lost. "That emboldened our enemies, demoralized our troops and endangered them, and you need to apologize to them, Senator," Angle chided. Reid countered with the many things he's done for veterans and his endorsement from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"Senator Reid has been a politician for over 30 years," Angle began. "I live in a middle-class neighborhood in Reno, Nevada. Senator Reid live in the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C."
That might particularly rankle Nevadans who now suffer with the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country.
But Reid, the son of a miner, tried to show he knew what it was like to suffer through tough times--like when he was growing up in the tiny town of Searchlight. Lean times sound different in Nevada than they do in other parts of the country, though.
"Times were tough. The mines weren't doing well at all. My mom took in wash from the brothels in Searchlight so I have some idea of what it's like to struggle," Reid said.
If you'd decided to play a drinking game and take a swig every time Reid called his opponent extreme, you'd have quite the hangover this morning.
But Reid wouldn't let her off the hook: "Now she talks about, and has for years talked about, getting rid of Social Security. For years. Look what would have happened had we put this money in the stock market as was suggested by President Bush. This is an extreme idea, and it will destroy Social Security."
"I personally am not in favor of giving billionaires tax cuts," Reid responded, before guaranteeing that he would not support an increase in taxes for middle class Americans.
The above quotations are from 2010 Nevada Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 Nevada Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts by Sharron Angle.
Click here for a profile of Sharron Angle.
Sharron Angle on other issues:
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