By ERIN NEFF
In the course of a discussion on filibusters and Senate rules, Washington's top Democrat gave the 60 juniors a lesson in partisan politics, particularly about the commander in chief. "The man's father is a wonderful human being," Reid said in response to a question about President Bush's policies. "I think this guy is a loser.
"I think President Bush is doing a bad job," he added to a handful of chuckles.
"He's driving this country into bankruptcy," Reid said, referring to the deficit. "He's got us in this intractable war in Iraq where we now have about 1,600 American soldiers dead and another 15,000 injured."
Republican National Communications Director Brian Jones issued a statement calling the senator's comments "a sad development but not surprising from the leader of a party devoid of optimism, ideas or solutions to the issues people care about most."
After the statement was released, Reid phoned the Review-Journal to acknowledge he thought he crossed the line.
"You know the president is in Europe, probably sleeping," Reid said in an interview this afternoon. "But I called (Karl) Rove and apologized for what I said."