The scare tactics that Democrats from President Obama on down have employed to wring political benefit out of the sequester have apparently hit a despicable new low. In comments made about the deaths overnight of seven U.S. Marines in a training incident in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Dem from Nevada, reportedly suggested that we may see more such incidents because the sequester cuts put Marines at risk.
NBC military correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, appearing on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, reported that the Marines have strongly rejected Reid's claim, and that one Marine official accused Reid of "pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines." View the video after the jump.
Miklaszewski made his stunning remarks while speaking to Luke Russert, hosting in the absence of Mitchell, who is in the Middle East with President Obama. I'll be back soon with the video.
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: Luke, you opened that segment with a sound bite from Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid expressing his condolences. But also during that statement, there was an implication there that under sequestration, when budgets are cut, that we may see more of these, that it may put the Marines and others and soldiers at risk because of the budget cuts. Now I can tell you, Marine Corps officials this afternoon are taking a strong exception to what Harry Reid implied, saying that this this exercise, for example, was planned well in advance, had nothing to do with the budget cuts. There were no corners cut. And if they couldn't afford to have all the safety precautions into place, they wouldn't do the exercise. And in fact, one Marine Corps told us just, one Marine Corps official told us a short time ago that he considers this nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines.
LUKE RUSSERT: Those are some very strong words from the Marine Corps about Senator Harry Reid.