For more on the interview with Reid, watch “The Situation Room” at 5 p.m. ET and read CNNPolitics.com

Washington CNN —  

Harry Reid ridiculed Donald Trump and the Republican presidential field Tuesday, saying candidates were “scared” to confront the billionaire businessman because he’s “speaking to their hearts.”

In an interview with CNN, the Senate Democratic leader said Trump’s temperament “is not much different than the rest of the team he’s running against.”

“Donald Trump is speaking for the Republican Party,” Reid said, sitting in the Lyndon B. Johnson room just off the Senate floor. “Why do the Republicans who are running for president never criticize him on anything?”

Told that Jeb Bush has been sharply critical of Trump, Reid shrugged and said: “If he has, no one has noticed.”

The 75-year-old Nevadan’s comments are the latest indication that Democrats are eager to stoke the flames of the increasingly contentious GOP primary battle, hoping the mogul’s penchant for incendiary rhetoric will bolster their own party’s chances to take back the Senate in 2016 and keep the White House.

“Well, Donald Trump and the Republican gang that’s running for president certainly hasn’t hurt our chances,” Reid said. “I think we’re going to win back the Senate. … But the one goal that I have, and I will be unrelenting on that, is to do everything I can to make sure that we retake the Senate.”