Bennet angry over Senate process, caught on hot mic: 'This stuff is rigged'

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., was caught blowing off some steam in the Senate chamber this morning.

Sitting in the presiding officer's chair, in front of a microphone he apparently didn't realize was live, Bennet complained to a female colleauge (who was off-camera) while other senators voted that the Senate's process was “rigged.” He also complained that  there had been no advance discussion of the Democrats' lameduck agenda before the session began.

“There's nothing about — because it's all rigged,” Bennet said. “I mean, the whole conversation is rigged. The fact that we don’t get to a discussion before the break about what we’re going to do in the lame duck — is just rigged. This stuff’s rigged.”

As Bennet made his comments, which you can hear in this video, two aides at one of the lower tables stood up to alert him that the microphone was live. Bennet, who is sitting partly off-camera on the right, suddenly noticed that the microphone was live. His female colleague laughed as Bennet reached across the dais to turn it off.

Bennet’s office did not immediately respond to the Examiner’s requests for comment. The Senate had earlier rejected a moratorium on earmarks, which Bennet had voted for.

UPDATE: Bennet responds by owning the quote:

Michael was telling the same truths on the senate floor that he tells folks back home in Colorado.

For almost two years, he has talked about needing to fix a broken Washington. We can’t move forward on major issues facing our country because of a broken system that is rigged to prevent progress.  We are now in the second week of this session and haven’t begun debating Defense Authorization or tax cuts that will expire at the end of the year.  Colorado and the rest of our country deserve better which is why he has proposed overhauling the way Washington works, including filibuster and lobbying reforms.

I followed up by asking about his remark on the failure to discuss the lame duck agenda. Was he expressing disappointment with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid?

Michael supports Senator Reid's efforts to move these issues to the floor. He is disappointed in partisan politics and political games that prevent progress.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

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