POLITICS
08/18/2010 02:33 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sharron Angle Compares Herself To America's 'Founding Fathers'

Republican candidate Sharron Angle, who's fighting to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, says she's no different than the country's "founding fathers" when it comes to criticism she's faced for maintaining extremely conservative, and in some cases controversial, views.

The Tea Party-backed hopeful drew the comparison in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday.

"I'm sure that they probably said that about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Benjamin Franklin," explained Angle on any suggestion that her positions are problematically too far to the right. "And truly, when you look at the Constitution and our founding fathers and their writings, the things that made this country great, you might draw those conclusions: That they were conservative. They were fiscally conservative and socially conservative."

The Senate hopeful, who has developed a reputation for being press-shy since winning the rights to take on Reid, reportedly "spoke slowly and cautiously" to the Times and "appeared reluctant to engage, frequently reciting stock answers to questions."

On the heels of Nevada's GOP Senate primary, Angle similarly refuted the idea that the positions she maintains are extreme. In a radio interview, the conservative contender insisted that she's "more mainstream" than Reid and blasted the four-term incumbent as a "whack job."

Reid signaled to the Times that his camp anticipates Angle's harsh rhetoric could prove to be her Achilles' heel, but added that he's not "discounting" the conservative challenger as a viable threat to his reelection.

"Our focus groups that we've done, my staff tells me this -- her statements, they can't believe that anyone would say that," explained the Senate leader. "That's why most of our TV just has her talking... In spite of the work we've done, people need to understand more about her. There are some unusual stands she has."