JUNEAU, Alaska (CBSDC/AP) — Alaska’s lone U.S. House member says his desire to get a Republican elected to replace Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich isn’t personal.

U.S. Rep. Don Young said it’s about ensuring Harry Reid is no longer Senate majority leader.

Young made his comments after addressing the state Republican convention. Republicans see Alaska as key to their efforts to reclaim control of the Senate. The House is currently controlled by Republicans.

During the speech, Young called Reid a “puppet” of President Barack Obama, and said if he stays majority leader, there will be a continued “downslide” of the nation.

He said if Republicans aren’t successful in their efforts to defeat Begich, he will probably have a lifetime job. He later told reporters it’s tough to beat an incumbent past the first term.

Young said that Obama wants to destroy the U.S.

“As a family we have to work together to try to make sure the enemies of this nation do not prevail — and we do have enemies of this nation, we have a president that in fact wants to destroy this nation,” Young said, according to the Alaska Dispatch.

Young added: “We can’t stop Obama — he’s going to continue to damage the country — but if we take back the Senate, we can slow it down.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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