In a speech on the economy at the University of Nevada's Las Vegas campus, Obama said the first thing he learned about Reid when he arrived in Washington was that the Democratic leader was a former boxer.
"And Harry Reid became a pretty good boxer because he would simply outlast his opponents," Obama said. "He had a stronger will."
In his speech, Obama credited Reid with pushing through legislation that has helped the U.S. economy begin to recover. He said the country needs Reid's leadership in the Senate to help get clean energy tax credits and other measures to stimulate growth.
The Republican Party released a commercial timed to Obama's visit entitled "Two of a Kind." Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Obama's and Reid's "far-left" policies helped destroy the economy.
"It would be difficult to find two people who have dealt more blows to Nevada's economy than President Obama and Harry Reid," Steele said. "As two of the most powerful politicians in Washington, this Democratic duo has schemed and forced their liberal agenda onto the people of Nevada, leading to 14 percent unemployment in the state, the highest in the nation."