The Washington Times - July 23, 2013, 07:21AM

The escalating war of words, both public and private, between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spilled over into an event hosted by a group borne out of President Obama’s re-election campaign.

“The strength of the president is in the mighty Senate,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Demcorat, said at an event hosted by Organizing for Action Monday evening. “We have to have enough to stop McConnell and what he doesn’t do.”

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“He got a primary opponent today,” Mr. Reid said, referring to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, who is expected to officially announce a challenge on Wednesday to Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican. “He tried to make love to the tea party, and they didn’t like it.”

Two national tea party groups, and Tea Party Nation, have endorsed Mr. McConnell’s re-election bid, but on Monday the United Kentucky Tea Party slammed the endorsements.

Mr. Reid also made clear that the so-called “nuclear option” — changing the rules of the Senate with a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds vote — is still on the table. Mr. Reid and Senate Democrats had threatened to deploy it last week before Republicans agreed to advance several of Mr. Obama’s nominees.

“They will always know that they can’t treat us like that because I can always come back and do what I was going to do anyway,” Mr. Reid said.