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tv   Profile of Sen. Chuck Schumer  CSPAN  February 24, 2019 2:56pm-4:28pm EST

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thing we have to fear is fear itself. not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. these people who knocked .illings down >> c-span's newest book the noted historians ranked america's best and worst executives providing insites into the 44 american resident stories gathered by interviews with notable presidential historians. xplore the events that shaped our leader, challenges they faced and legacy they left affairs, by public c-span's the presidents will be 23 but you can preorder as a hard cover or c-span.or y at
2:57 pm or books are sold. > the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute without objection so ordered. mr. speaker, if this bill a fourth r to add the curriculum of schools, writing, arithmetic and religion. some of the proponents of this brought up legitimate objections to what is happening in our schools. students should be allowed to bring a bible to school and discuss religion in schools. unfortunately the bill goes much further. three students in many districts to get together devil worship. sun young moon or any cult into and it could not be stopped. holy khaoupbon or
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other -- communion or other full services as long as they are student initiated to occur. i cannot yield. one minute > we debate fiercely and forcefully but respectfully. the founders of the republican, of the early senate, debated clay, calhoun, until they were blue in the face. ost: that video was new york representative charles schumer in one of his first c-span 1984, then in today. chuck cheschumer the next hour we will look at rise reer and political just as we have done with speaker pelosi, in the majority and housech mcconnell minority leader kevin mccarthy. career we chart his will make full use of the rchives and our two guests
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longtime political congressional the ters alex bolton of hill and carl hulse of the "new york times." r. hulse, when you think of what has made chuck schumer successful what comes to mind. he is a great political tactician. innate ly nds politics, what works. the very st clip of oung chuck schumer there, he had a little gimmick that we are going to add religion. with sound bites. but he is also a good policy guy. policy.stands he knows that it is politics that drives chuck schumer an has.ys host: alex bolton? anecdote i heard that he is a good inside player and outside player. knows how to raise money. that has been the theme throughout his career.
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why he has risen to power more than anything is the to raise. been able he's never forgotten how important that is. stings compared to the senate document whip dick is a great inside player and more true liberal but never is a great inside player. he knows what his colleagues want on both sides of the aisle. he can cut deals. he is very adept at handling policy. he knows the details and he fan -- handles them with facility. when you put that together, it's like a baseball player who hits for power and bats for average. >> in the house of
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representatives, was he noted early as a potential leader or potential spokesperson? >> people thought of him as -- i don't know if anyone was looking at him as a future speaker. other democrats did look at him, but it was sort of for messaging. he knew how to cut through and come up with a good line. that's one of the things that drives republicans nuts. he can get in the job pretty well. -- jab pretty well. host: the president and he have an interesting relationship. the president has taken to calling him crying chuck. but the president also called him immediately after the election and said the deal hasn't really worked out so far. i think schumer has been able to push back against trump. >> these two know each other pretty well. >> trump was probably a schumer donor.
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they were acquaintances in queens. they probably did business. they both appreciate the wiley ness of the other -- wileyness of the other. they are together, but it's not working as well. >> one of the first meetings congressional leaders had with trump after he got elected -- we were hearing from senator cornyn , and he mentioned that trump and schumer had more in common than any of the republican leaders and trumpeted. they were hesitant to support him in the 2016 campaign. they were batting around all these people they knew in common in new york. trump talked about how much he raised for the dnc see when schumer was chairman -- dncc when schumer was chairman. trump implied he raised millions. schumer later clarified it was only $230,000. still, it was a lot of money. afterward, he made a point to say trump and i were never
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friends. we knew each other but we never shared a meal together. we weren't buddies. i think from the outset schumer was very leery about being seen as too cozy with trump. >> he thought he could triangulate him, possibly. chuck schumer thought he would be majority leader after the election in 2016. he told me he was depressed for days after the election and trying to figure out what to do. then he said well, my role is now even more important and i have to get ready. >> he was telling new york times reporters right after the election, if the president wants to pursue trade policies and infrastructure policies we support, we have an obligation to pursue those goals with him, but then he said the president
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would have to abandon his republican colleagues and come completely in our direction for us to work with him. that courtship and bromance did not last very long. host: we will go into that a little bit as we walk chronologically through senator schumer's career. he was elected in 1980, the same year reagan was elected, but it was in 1985 that chuck schumer responded to the president's state of the union address. mr. schumer: this is not the american revolution. the president is talking about the new american convolution. black is white, white is black. helping the poor means cutting their programs. causing peace means bringing new -- building new arms. it's a masterful performance. there is no business like show business and the president pulled it off with an aplomb no one else can. he echoed the themes the american people want to hear. but when you look at the program, he does not do what he says he is going to do. sooner or later in my book, that
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catches up with him. >> good lines. he has three or four in there. he's trying to separate the party from reagan. it was interesting that he got that platform. people were listening to him. he's already improved a little bit from when we first saw him. he's more serious. and people were paying attention. host: when did you first start noticing chuck schumer? >> in the 1980's, but i didn't cover new york as much as i did for the times. i was covering him for papers around the country. he was a presence in washington. i probably did him what he appreciates as a good turn. the times has a policy of using formal names and we always referred to him as charles e schumer in the paper. senator schumer likes to dazzle in some respects, but he prefers
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the name chuck. i told him the paper will use the name the person wants, and he said i want to be chuck. we changed it to chuck schumer in the paper and he has been happy with us ever since. >> his first name is charles and no one calls him charles. it's always chuck. that clip was very interesting. seeing him now -- and i wasn't on the hill in the 1980's, but my personal reaction was the intensity he exudes in that response. razor-sharp, very intense. he has since become more avuncular in his demeanor and i think a little less razor-sharp, a little less cutting in his demeanor, and i think that -- this is something we will get into later in the program, but he had a reputation for being cutthroat and ambitious in the house and he has reined that in. he is more of a team player now. he evolved with the politics. host: he's the leader now. it's easy to be a team player at that point. you started with the hill in
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2000. when did you start noticing senator schumer? >> i grew up in connecticut. chuck schumer and donald trump dominated the market in the 1980's when i was a kid growing up. i remember his first race for senate. the schumer-demato race. schumer was initially thought of as the underdog. we didn't quite understand where the country was going. we didn't know new york was becoming as democratic as it has become. schumer in the new york city media market had a big presence. bob dole said the most dangerous place to be in washington was
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between chuck schumer and a tv camera. host: this is from january, 2018. mr. schumer: unfortunately, with his trademark wit, senator dole is responsible for a certain quotation that hounded me for many years. apparently, the most dangerous place in washington is between chuck schumer and a camera. [laughter] [inaudible] [no audio] for the benefit of posterity, that observation, which had been made for about arlen specter, your homeboy -- [laughter] but for some reason, when senator dole uttered those famous words about yours truly, it stuck. senator dole, i bear you no ill will. after all, you brought c-span to the senate. i never would have found as many tv cameras without you. [laughter] host: a grain of truth in that statement? >> i think so. i remember someone complaining that chuck schumer, although he was known for his lust for the media spotlight, now he is
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fairly careful about who he will speak to. he became steadily more strategic or careful in who he spoke to. i remember i complained he wasn't answering my questions or being accessible and his response was good luck trying to convince people in washington to not be media accessible. he has had that reputation, but he is not as accessible as some people on capitol hill. dick durbin, his one-time roommate, one-time rival will always talk to reporters. he likes the spotlight, but he is pretty careful and strategic about how he gets his message across. >> chuck schumer when he was rising in his media career pioneered the sunday press conference. there's nothing going on, you
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can get a lot of attention for some issue. i think kiersten gillibrand has taken over that spot. chuck schumer now has the power of using the media he helped accumulate. he is very careful. he still has a flip phone. >> he often has his cell phone glued to his ear. >> pretending so that reporters cannot talk to him. and if you can talk to chuck schumer, you can find things out. he still wants to talk to the media and use it to advance a
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cause. but he is a lot more careful. a correct caricature of a young chuck schumer is somebody who was always looking for a tv camera. but he's older now. he's working much more behind the scenes. he is a lot more careful. he has definitely evolved in that. host: if you go to the library and type in chuck schumer, 7000 videos appear. if you type in charles schumer, about 400 appear. we will change how we type it just like the new york times did. >> the leadership office has a fireplace and he is very struck by the fireplace. he is always commenting, we didn't have one of these fireplaces back in brooklyn. >> one of the issues he worked on in the 1990's was the assault weapons ban. >> that was part of the crime bill. it was a big hill but it led to
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the downfall of democrats in the house. that was part of the issue. that crime bill was something republicans were able to run against. and they were able to take over the house. there were a lot of tough on crime things in the bill that at the moment seemed like good politics for democrats. three strikes and you're out. some of the increase in policing . now some of those things are what, kratz are running away from -- democrats are running away from. gun control is back on capitol hill with the democrats in the house. i think democrats and chuck schumer were very leery of that issue for a long time after the
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crime bill passed the house. but now they see it as a winning issue. they can't obviously with republicans in the senate get it going anywhere, but i think you will hear folks talk about it a lot. some of the things they did in the crime bill are haunting some of these political careers. >> let's look at some video of chuck schumer from august of 1994. mr. schumer: thank you. i am joined by many of my colleagues who were supporters of the crime bill. i will introduce them one at a time after i finish speaking, but we want to thank you for coming. i thought it showed that the american people support every aspect of this bill. the ban on assault weapons, 71 percent. three strikes and you're out, 70 4%. more funds for law enforcement, 79%. money for prevention, 65%. the idea, when the republican leadership says the american people don't want prevention is belied by this cnn usa today poll. death penalty for non-murder crimes is the lowest, 60%
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because newt gingrich and the republican leadership have spent a week demonizing a bill that should have overwhelming support in the congress just as it has overwhelming support among the american people. >> that was before you came to capitol hill, but would chuck schumer say those same words today? >> i don't know how he would
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handle it because that bill has not aged well for democrats. the clip is long and it's an interesting one. he spent a lot of time arguing about the compromises he made to win over republicans including provisions from henry hyde, a top person on judiciary. another top republican. the thing that is controversial is this three strikes you're out law and expanding the death penalty for non-murder crimes. those don't look so well. and in a democratic primary where the african-american vote is crucial, that constituency is not a fan of legislation that led to mass incarceration, which is a major problem today. schumer is so focused on trying to win republicans over and please republicans and counter
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republican criticism, in the end , they never gave him credit for passing the bill, and now it's almost a political liability for him. if there ever were a primary in new york -- is that a question? could aoc run against him? if she did, she could potentially run on this. host: there has been talk in the past about a primary from the left or chuck schumer. i don't see that.
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certainly not right now. he is at the top of his power and game here and i think he has the ability to raise an incredible amount of money to fight anything off. but i do think it will be interesting going forward, because in that video, you have a very young nancy pelosi and it does show you that those people are still here today and back in power. it's interesting to watch that. host: is there an issue with the left, the progressive left now and the democratic party, some of these old-timers or long timers? >> chuck schumer devoted a lot of energy to protecting his more moderate members, ones that lost in the last election. that was a major focus for schumer.
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he got a lot of protection, too. most of the senate democratic conference is more liberal and he has less concern about the split in his party. the party is pretty united now. they agree more on policy. senator schumer spent a lot of energy defending democrats. now he can go on offense. and republicans have people in trouble, so the plane has shifted for him since the election in terms of his own caucus. >> i think like any good politician, and max baucus from monahan a -- from montana used to have a saying, only the paranoid survive. that explains the mindset of a good politician. they are always looking to the horizon. what is the next development. yes, schumer is at the top of his game. mcconnell probably has a safe reelection this year but he's not letting any daylight between himself and trump because that's politics.
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once you let the daylight in, that's it. the pivot i mentioned earlier where right after the election, willing to work with trump, than a month later he would have to completely abandon his republican colleagues. and then something i think struck fear into schumer was when there was a big protest outside park slope, new york. people were still carrying skeletons. chuck, grow a spine. there was a raucous crowd, a big crowd, an angry crowd. they were angry that schumer wasn't doing enough to oppose the trump agenda. after that, you saw a shift in schumer. he stiffened his spine and waged an all-out effort against trump's nominees, judicial and otherwise. i think he got the message that to be the leader of the party has to be a little more brittle than he used to be and i think we are seeing that. >> he saw that and responded. >> did the defeat of joe crowley wake up at the -- wake up the
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democrats of new york? >> i think it had to. they were like, we need to pay attention here and we cannot take anything for granted. democratic party is moving and they are moving left. chuck schumer is on the right end of that is the way i would describe it. the schumer mcconnell relationship is very interesting to me and has a lot to do with the way chuck schumer conducts himself now. chuck schumer had run the democratic senatorial campaign in 2008 when mcconnell was up for election. that was during the economic crisis and they ransom and -- ran some ads against mcconnell on his vote for tarp. that really irritated mcconnell because the democrats wanted him to vote for tarp and then they used it against him. it really created a rift with
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schumer and mcconnell. schumer likes to now say he and mcconnell can get along. schumer is somebody wants to be liked by his colleagues, which is different than harry reid who really didn't care if mcconnell liked him. >> the other thing schumer did to run afoul of mcconnell was he was one of only six democrats to vote against mcconnell's wife, elaine chao, when she was being considered for trump's cabinet. i think that was seen as a personal slight. i remember in 2008 he gave a speech downtown and he was asked about that, that the democrats used his tarp vote against him, and he saw it as a betrayal. he voted in good ways to keep the country from disaster and they used it against him politically. >> he was very area tainted by the elaine chao vote which a lot of people in both -- very irritated by the elaine chao vote, which a lot of people in both parties saw as a mistake. there was no point to it. she's basically a professional cabinet member. she was qualified. they do have a closer relationship than mcconnell and harry reid. that really deteriorated. >> let's go back to the video archives and look at an issue from 1995 when chuck schumer was
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one of four democrats on the waco investigation. >> let me begin by saying that i believe with all my heart that we should have hearings on the incident at waco. this is the first of eight very sad days. we are going to talk about the deaths of men, women, and children, including atf agent's. if we can learn from this tragedy by bringing out new fact, or even if no new facts come out, by looking at old facts in a fresh light, then it is worth the effort because in the words of justice brandeis, sunlight is the best disinfectant. the danger is that we will not shine sunlight, but a strobe light, flashing on and off and distorting our vision. >> we have forgotten at the time what a big issue that was. >> that is serious chuck schumer right there. he was defending the clinton administration and janet reno for what was widely seen as a botched rate of waco and doing it in a way that was -- raid of waco, but doing it in a way that was smart. he wanted to make sure david karesh didn't become a martyr. the republicans were looking to take down the clinton
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administration and put the blame on them. this was a new role for him. that was in 1995 after republicans had taken over the hearings. it was interesting how you could see at the time how that took over the national conversation for quite a while. and it was part of what fueled anti-federal law enforcement feelings in parts of the west. and part of that trend is still very prevalent in the republican party. this is from 1998. this is now senator elect chuck schumer. >> ladies and gentlemen, the distinguished senator elect from new york, mr. chuck schumer. >> when the founding fathers designed the government of this country, they realized there would be rare and crucial times in history when it would the necessary to break into the regular rule of order of how our
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government works to pull the nation out of crisis and in fact dave the republic. they devised a process of impeachment for these times to be used rarely and only in times of national crisis. several we to remove the president -- several weeks ago, the notion that we would be using the hammer of impeachment to remove the president was unthinkable. the actions we take tomorrow far transcend the conduct of bill clinton and will have profound consequences on the future of this country. if we vote articles of impeachment, i fear we would be setting a precedent that could seriously weaken the office of the presidency, whether the president is removed or not. in my judgment, we will be substantially lowering the bar for removing a sitting president that we will be in danger of all too frequently investigating presidents and seeking to remove them from office, this, as we enter a century that demands a strong and focused president of the united states. what would we be removing him for? sex and lying about sex. >> that was 1998. >> watching that clip and the previous clip from waco made me understand why schumer's mother was so disappointed that after
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he graduated from harvard law school he decided not to get a job with a law firm and make a lot of money in new york. he decided to run for assembly. that disappointed her. she thought he would've been a great lawyer, and he would've been a brilliant litigator. that's on display in those clips. watching how his mind works, it's really impressive. he breaks down the articles of impeachment and says the only one that has any bite to it is the perjury charge where he testified under oath. he prevaricate it, he misled
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under oath. you might have him there. but if you talk to the american
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people, is this a real perjury, to lie about sex? most people would laugh you out of office if you did something like that and that's why the special prosecutor had to come up with other charges, abuse of power and obstruction of justice. he said they were laughable. he also did a good job of obscuring what public -- what republicans were saying, trying to bring a perjury charge against the president, lying to his staff about whether he had sex or not. he said this was laughable. what interesting now in today's context is what would chuck schumer say about articles of impeachment giving -- given that standard -- >> hold on because that could be really interesting if the house and senate proceeded with impeachment. now he would be on the other. i had the exact same feeling as i was watching. that would be a completely reversed argument if anything
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happened with president trump who, by the way, is involved in schist activities involved in x and lying -- with sex and lying. -- suspicious activities involving sex and lying. republicans attacked president clinton and went on to impeach him anyway. i considered it a big mistake at the time but they still did it. tom delay and the house were determined to do that. we will see that clip again if there are impeachment proceedings against president trump. >> it was part of our conversation for a long time and senator schumer's life for a long time. and here he is walking hillary clinton down to be sworn in in 2001. was there any issue with him dealing with a high profile
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senator like her when he is the senior senator at this point? >> i think there was some concern he would be overshadowed, but they had different goals. i think that's probably what saved their relationship. schumer wanted to be a big player in the senate. he was never running for president. but from the moment she got to the senate, she was going to be running for president. often the worst relationships in the senate are between senators from the same state because they are competing for the same money in the same voters. but they worked well together. 9/11 really brought them
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together, too. they did a lot of work on behalf of new york. i think that something that if their ambitions had been similar, it would've been a disaster. but they work together ok. >> in 2018, schumer did an interview with the washington post and he said the first year hilary was in office it was tough. he admitted there was some rivalry. they are both type a personalities. it took them some time to work it out but they realized they were better working together than a cross purposes. schumer is an effective politician. i was sure his ego was under threat because hillary clinton was a bigger star at the time and she was eclipsing him. but he realized it's better if i put my ego and the rear and we work together. >> they did work together and
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they knew their stances on the issues. host: you both were covering the hill at that time. the new york times was basically a hometown newspaper for these two senators. would you rather have had an interview and a quote from hillary clinton or chuck schumer as a reporter? >> hillary. she was a megastar when she came up on the hill on the first day. you couldn't even get close to her. she'd have an entourage. she was a massive star and i think people knew that she was potentially going to run for
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president down the road. we have seen people with the same kind of wattage like elizabeth warren or mitt romney. immediately, you know they are going to be a star. barack obama was like that. but hillary was the biggest during my time covering capitol hill. i would've gone for the hillary quote. >> she did something that has become a bit of a gimmick for senators with high profiles that come in. we are not doing national press. we are only talking local issues. and you see that from senators now. i was a local paper for her in some ways. i did a lot of dealing with them. for me, chuck schumer was the guy who would honestly tell me more about what was really going
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on. you mentioned barack obama and hillary clinton in the senate. they were stars on the outside. but they weren't stars on the inside. they weren't the people making things happen, greasing wheels. if i was trying to find out what the real deal was in the senate, i do remember i had to track down senator clinton one day for a question about -- it was related to her book. they were trying to censor her book. i had to track her down and she came out and goes oh carl, i thought you just dealt with the powerful people around here, or something to that effect. give me a break. but i found her great to deal with in the senate. you could get access to her and she would talk about what she was doing. >> well, you wrote for the new york times. >> totally. >> senator schumer is now senator schumer, no longer representative schumer. he beat senator al d'amato, longtime republican senator from new york.
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here he is from 2016. this is an interview c-span did for our documentary, the senate, conflict and compromise. >> it takes a while to get the rhythm of this place. it's a different kind of institution. people say it's like the house and it's not at all. the house is not like the house. someone once described the house as a barrel of crabs and when one finally gets his claw over the edge of the barrel, six others reach up to pull him back. the senate is not like that. because it is smaller, more collegial, has these great traditions, you get along with people, and the idea is to get along with people. the idea is to work well with
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your colleagues. bipartisanship, at least in name, is present. >> what do you hear? wax that sums up what chuck schumer is all about in the senate. what he's famous for his cutting deals in the house jim. one of his most famous tactics is telling the press what republicans really think based on scuttlebutt he hears in the gym. he does have a good relationship with them. reading about him last night, he talked about an anecdote -- there's an anecdote about him. to be effective in congress, you cannot have a sense of moral .cannot have a sense of moral superiority. you have to understand where the other person is coming from and some democrats do have that moral superiority when it comes
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to talking about things like guns, poverty, climate. that turns people off. schumer understands what you want and where you are coming from. the most important thing when you are negotiating with someone is to know what they want not to tell them what they should want. you have to respect where the other side is coming from. that's why he has been a dealmaker. but can he keep it up? we've talked about the democratic party shifting to the left. can he continue to be the dealmaker and the collegial chuck schumer he has always been
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cutting deals in the house, putting together reform legislation? >> speaking to what you just said, they made a deal with mcconnell on judges during the august recess and let multiple judges through. that got him a lot of backlash from the left. they don't want that anymore and you are seeing a lot of pushback on nominations. the anti-trump, anti-conservative judge faction said you can't make those deals. he is right that all house members come to the senate and realize well, now i have some power, i probably shouldn't throw it away with a filibuster and things like that. but in the senate, your enemy today is your friend tomorrow. it's different than the house. you have to be able to work with people. i don't know the chuck schumer still plays basketball anywhere. but he does hit the gym a lot. >> let's hear it in chuck schumer's own words. >> well, i started out in the
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senate gym. i made many friends in the senate gym including a whole lot of republicans. i learned the democrats exercise late in the day or the evening and republicans exercise early. so i'm there with six or seven republicans every morning including most of the leadership. not leader mcconnell, but senator alexander, senator thune. we have become friends. we have gotten things done in the gym on a bike. i like to watch their reaction when occasionally donald says something that is off, but i don't say anything. >> i have never been in the senate gym, but it must be quite a scene in the morning. that's a little bit more old school. one of the big complaints about washington is nobody knows people on the other.
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they don't talk to people. they don't go out to dinner. they are gone on the weekends. but chuck schumer found one place where you can go and find out where his -- what his republican colleagues think. he and senator cornyn are good friends. they have traveled together with their wives. he has found a way to get in there. and this is what carl said earlier, too. when you hear republicans talk for real about president trump, you wouldn't believe what they are saying. i don't know if they are saying that to him that much. >> it's cramped and it's not that nice. it's old. it's no equinox. it smells like chlorine and the machines are all bunched together. >> that's how you make a deal.
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>> the only person i saw working out at night was bob menendez of new jersey, so i guess democrats do work out in the evening. >> one thing we all went through together as a nation and in washington was the iraq war after 9/11. here was senator schumer in 2002. >> in a post-9/11 world, there are no good choices, only less bad ones. as we move toward final passage, this choice is this resolution, imperfect as it is, or none at all. saddam hussein in his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and his will to use them has made
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the option of none at all unacceptable. this will show saddam hussein and any naysayers in the united nations that we are serious about the war on terrorists's. we understand the challenges of this brave new world, and we are prepared to meet them. host: again, that was 2002. >> a lot of democrats thought that was a good political and policy decision. democrats are always worried about being portrayed as weak on national defense. this was a moment when many of them thought ok, we have to step up and support this. once interesting is the people who didn't do that, including bob graham, who was chair of the intelligence committee, nancy pelosi, they did not support
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this. senator schumer thought he was making the right vote like a lot of other people and they really came to regret that vote. >> at the time that vote was cast, the smart democrats thought it was the politically smart thing to do. barack obama wasn't in the senate then and he opposed to the iraq war. it became a big issue. it was hillary's achilles' heel in 2008. she voted for the war resolution. soto john kerry, john edwards, joe biden, chris dodd. any democrat who thought they had to be strong on defense and vote for the war -- it was the worst vote. i think if any of them would tell you truthfully, it was the worst vote of their career. the issue here, and this kind of
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gets to chuck schumer as a politician, the criticism is that he leans too much toward political expediency. he is pragmatic, but the other side of pragmatism can be being politically expedient. this was a time when politics took precedence over principal. but people like dick durbin voted no. ron wyden, senior democrat, voted no. robert byrd, one of the most conservative democrats voted no and he was very vocal. >> became a late career antiwar leader. i think if you are making a vote based on politics instead of what you think is right, it can really come back on you. >> in 2002, after 9/11, could you really be from new york and vote against it?
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>> i think he knew it was a dangerous vote. it was a 16 minute speech. he goes through all the points. he said this is the toughest vote anyone could take. he talks about terrorism. he talks about being in new york during 9/11 and how much it affected him. but giving credence to the argument that iraq was tied up in al qaeda -- even at the time, democrats were debunking that argument. it may have had some political traction in a macro environment, national environment, but i do think democrats ever truly believed that al qaeda was mixed up in a rack even during that debate. they were worried about -- the 1990 gulf war, the democrats who voted against that ended up looking foolish because that war was very successful and they ended up looking like minis. they were scared of a reprise.
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>> i went back. i covered that vote and went back and read the story. i was curious how we treated it. we were very hairy in our
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coverage of the skepticism being put forward by democrats that the cia was not credible on this.
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there was a lot of misinformation coming out from the administration. and he and hillary clinton probably needed to align their votes. that would've been problematic for both of them, if you split
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from your fellow democratic new york senator. you never know how these things are going to play out. i'm sure he wishes he could have that one back.
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>> i think you both reference to the fact that he was able to raise a lot of money. this was in 2004. >> i want to thank you for your leadership. we are all excited about hairy as our leader. he has taken charge in so many different ways. the most recent is this vanquishing of the debt. i think we are here to say that the dncc and democrats, we are back. we are excited. we are enthusiastic. about the upcoming legislative session and our prospects in 2006. first, as harry mentioned, in record time, we vanquished the debt. $3.6 million was left to us. we raised more money than had ever been raised before by the dfcc and more than the rfcc raised, which was a record. we hope to continue in that
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tradition. >> early in 2005 after the democrats got the house. >> the democrats were still a minority, i think. they had 45 seats. they were well in the minority. and i think in 2006 there were more democrats up for reelection , so when the democrats picked up six seats in the majority that was huge. >> that was 2006. >> and then they picked up another nine eventually or another eight. to get to 59. and then obviously harry reid got alan spector to switch parties. i remember in 2006, you could see there was going to be a wave in the house like we saw this year in 2018 -- there wasn't going to be a wave in the house like we saw this year in 2018, but the senate races broke late. it still wasn't known until election day. i came out very close. schumer scored some coos
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recruiting bob casey in pennsylvania, a pro-life democrat, son of a pro-life governor, who had real credit in the state you could see it was pretty smart that he went against his party by picking someone pro-life to run and when that state. in jim webb in virginia, that was a race that gave them the senate majority. again, a gutsy call by schumer. that was a big the other thing that fueled their success was that schumer raised a ton of money. he is probably one of the best fundraisers in washington. >> that's a problem for some in the party that that's where he -- >> are you talking about wall street? that's where he gets a lot of money. >> i think his favorite job was head of the senatorial democratic campaign committee. he likes being a tactician in
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deciding, but even as other people have taken the job, he is still head of the senatorial democratic campaign committee. once interesting is the current context. rahm emanuel in the same era when they were trying to take over, they went and got conservative, moderate centrists that they thought were more acceptable to run and some of these places. i don't know that you could do that now. it's going to be tougher
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democrats. maybe in montana, but going and picking leading candidates, i don't know that you would be able to do that. >> why does wall street support senator schumer? >> he has been pretty cagey about whether to tax wall street. i think he -- we had to keep him in the house.
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fast-forward to 1998 when he
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ran, when that primary, beginning, 1997 geraldine
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-- from that other people. >> i think the other team to the other thing is to understand schumer, you need to understand appreciate what a hard worker he is. he is a herculean worker. he works his but off. -- butt off. there's a lot of money in new york. ink in 1982, he was elected -- 92, democratic redistricting. it seat was on the chopping block. he worked selling a million girl scout cookies, calling everyone in new york.
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he raised so much money that democrats were like, we can't cut his seat. in fast-forward to 1988. when he ran against -- thatnow, when they told of 1997,t, at the end new york public advocate, schumer was in third place. he is as big a name as they did, but he dramatically outraised them. before the race started, he had six marine dollars in the bank. like 500,000.
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i think that sums up why. her in his career, he is much more front about wall street. coverage of the separation. the famous glass-steagall separation which ultimately led to the collapse in 2008. i ate he said that schumer was involved with real heat and friction between schumer and my paper. i run apiece about banking committee, and he along with some republicans and democrats in a rule about sec rulemaking, and fcc chairman arthur levitt, and the collapse of enron, if that rule had been in place maybe the collapse would not have happened.
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schumer was very upset and he called my editor-in-chief at the time and really complained about . it's something he has been sensitive about, the idea that he is cozy with wall street. he is very, very sensitive. host: you need to be extremely accurate, or you will hear about. the guy can sell, he really can't. and i think people who have contributed to him see this pragmatism, so let's keep our connection with him. let's listen to november 8, 2016. mr. schumer: i will work every day to be deserving of your trust. i will never forget what it means that you give me the honor of working with you.
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and tonight there is another thing that could happen. there is a chance i could become the majority leader of the united states senate. mr. schumer: but i promise you, if i get that honor, i will be working for new york as hard as ever, because i love new york, and it is in my bones, so thank you all. >> i was in the times newsroom in new york, a couple of blocks from there, sensing what was happening. i think at that time, i had a pretty good idea that he was not going to be the majority leader, and you cannot underestimate what the expectation was at that time. the republicans thought he was going to be the senate majority
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leader, certainly the day before. they thought rusk feingold was going to win in wisconsin, and there was a lot of anticipation that hillary clinton was going to be president, and he was going to be senate majority leader. i think he probably was hedging a bit there, it seem like to me that things were not going that great at the moment but this was a , big, big thing. he was going to become the senate majority leader from new york and have all this power, and all of a sudden, it was yanked away from him. it was a real shock. but he is managing to use the power that he has. and they have had, this election cycle, it could have been much worse for them. they had a lot of seats out there. they have -- could have gotten into the minority and managed to win a couple of races, maybe they should not have had arizona, being one of them, and
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he has got himself set up that they have a chance in 2020 to get the senate back. it will be tough for them but , they are on offense, i would say. >>where were you that night? i was actually watching from home. we working shifts and for the day after the election you need people up early and working. obviously, i couldn't turn the tv off. but what a surprise, what a shot, and, in fact, i heard later from a republican leader who did and off-the-record happy hour with reporters, he recalled a conversation with chuck schumer on election night, and he called schumer on the phone, and schumer said, we think hillary can still win. it's going to be close but we think she can win. and it was a big surprise, and i
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remember writing a story in october 20 16 after the "access" -- "access hollywood" tape came out, and after rob portman pulled his endorsement on paul ryan, the house speaker, said he couldn't defend this anymore, there was discussion, well, maybe we need to go big. maybe we are thinking too small. after "access hollywood" we could pick up a scale of 6, 7, 8 seats. i mean, this could be a total wipeout. the mindset in washington after that tape came out was that donald trump was finished. at the time i was writing this article in october, talking about sort of the optimism among some democrats, schumer was the voice of reason because throughout his career, he has always been a very poll-focused
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politician, and he saw the polls and argued within democratically circles to keep the resources on our top priority races. let's not expand into ohio and some of states, so ieach think he knew it was going to be close, even though i think he thought hillary was going to win. >> he likes to consider himself the real expert. he pays a lot of attention to these races. he considers himself the real expert. >> well, it was a couple of weeks later that senator schumer was elected the democratic leader in the center. senator schumer: we had a great meeting. it went very smoothly, and i am humbled, truly humbled, and honored to receive the support of my colleagues to be the next leader of the senate democratic caucus. i'm even prouder to introduce the team joining me up here
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today, which i will get into very soon. i came into this job fully aware of its challenges and what it means that my colleagues trust me to live up to a high standard set by my friend, mentor, just someone -- my foxhole buddy harry reid. , harry reid is like a brother to me. his support and counsel are invaluable, and i speak for the entire caucus when i say, we are grateful for his leadership, his service, his friendship. now i want to say to the american people exactly what i just said to my caucus. i'm going to wake up every single day focused on how senate democrats can effectively fight for america's middle class and those struggling to join it. last tuesday night was something none of us expected. i suspect that is true for many of you in the press as well.
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, it certainly did not go the way we democrats hoped. chuckalex i see over schumer's shoulder, the .emocratic whip alex: interesting, those two men were roommates for more than 10 years in washington in the house, but it was, i think, there was always a rivalry. they were two stars in the house. they came up in the senate around the same time. i think durbin was elected in 1996 and schumer two years later. durbin became the whip because harry reid asked him to. .arry reid selected durbin he was the handpicked deputy, but then, schumer leapfrogged.
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as he talked about, as he alluded to right there, he became harry reid's closest confidant and was almost the power behind the throne in many ways. i thought schumer was calling a lot of shots at the end of reid's tenure. so there was a lot of tension there. and, you know, just like anyone who has had a brother or a sibling, you know what it feels like when you're getting leapfrogged by your brother or your friend. it hurts, and i think it because some bad feelings, but on the other hand, durbin realized he was beat, and part of the reason is because schumer is such a better fundraiser, and in politics today, fundraising is the currency of power. and also, you know schumer brought democrats majority as dnc chairman. so he had so much currency in the caucus or status in the
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caucus because of that and also as dnc chairman 2006-2008 when they picked up so many seats. he recruited these guys. i mean, he had personal relationships with all these guys that durbin didn't really have, so durbin had to concede. and the night harry reid announced his retirement, durbin late in the conversation with schumer on the senate floor, said, "you have earned the mantle. it is yours," and schumer says he wept in gratitude, but it mutely, afterwards there was a dispute about what actually happened in the conversation. durbin aides were climbing schumer said he would support durbin to run for reelection as whip, the number two position, but schumer denies the promise was ever made so it was an awkward thing. two men who lived together for 10 years they couldn't even , agree on whether schumer promised to back durbin or not, so it gets the
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heart of the awkward friend-rival relationship. his successor, in those few days when the announcement came out, that was part of his plan, and he just thought that schumer was going to be a better leader. i think, for the time, than durbin was, though he really liked durbin, but he just saw qualities in schumer that he thought made him superior to succeed him. >> what is interesting about that clip, with the leadership at that point, harry reid made a lot of decisions on his own and was the chuck schumer decided after that mansion, he wanted joe -- manchin.
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he wanted bernie sanders on the leadership team, so he expanded it beyond what senator reid has done, and i think that his worked for him, and to his colleagues he at least creates the image that he is consulting with them whether , that is what is really going on or he then closes the door and makes a decision with his staff. that is a different story, but i i think they have definitely made their peace. and work well together, dick durbin has taken on a roll among senate democrats as one of the leaders in the judicial fights. chuck schumer was a big player in those over the years as part of the committee. and dick durbin is sort of a leader there, and they worked it out. it is funny though. they were roommates for a long time in
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their crazy group house that george miller, a former house member had, a lot of stories about how crazing that living situation was. >> well, senator schumer in our "conflictumentary, and compromise," talked about what it was like being minority leader. senator schumer: one of the jobs is to look after the members. another job is to form those members into a cohesive group to get things done. it is hard to get 40, 50 people who are very strong-will together and united. it is a hard job. >> mr. sanders, mr. schumer. senator schumer: the senate floor is a very useful place to get a whole lot done. you are face-to-face with everyone. it is a great place to just do business, because when you do have just a faction
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to accomplish it, it does not last as long, so the senate which is run by its rules and conditions pulls people together, and if you are doing something big it is easier to get it done in a bipartisan way in the senate. host: he basically confirmed what you both just said, but the other half of this equation is his relationship with mitch mcconnell. senator mcconnell recently, about a year ago, i should say, introduced senator schumer at the mcconnell center at the university of louisville. we want to show you a little bit of that. senator mcconnell: in his memoir, chuck remember his parents actually didn't want him to run. they thought the life of a corporate lawyer actually would be respectable. [applause] [laughter] senator mcconnell and more : comfortable. chuck, my life would have been a lot easier if you had only listened to your parents. [laughter] senator mcconnell as coach : petrino can tell
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you, we are like offense event defensive coordinators. as coach petrino can tell you, offensive coordinator is better. [laughter] senator mcconnell: one of the ways we are seen together is every day, when the senate floor opens for business. after the prayer and pledge of allegiance, each of those has a chance to do opening remarks , detailing our views of the business of the day. traditionally, i speak first, followed by the democratic leader, but now that we have this show on the road, i am the warm-up act, and i am thrilled to have my good friend, the democratic leader of the senate, here this morning. join me in welcoming chuck schumer. [applause]
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host: a reporter at "the new york times," said it was a rather collegial intro. wasn't it? >> yes. he takes pride that he has broken through with senator mitch mcconnell and as schumer says, he can get senator mcconnell to laugh at his jokes. that's a point of pride. and considering what i had said 2008, and also the vote against his wife as cabinet secretary they both , seem to have patched things up. it is tough in the senate right now. it is tough in the senate. we are moving into 2020, and senator mcconnell is going to bring up this bill to try to democrats, so we
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will see if they can maintain this cordial relationship as they proceed, and senator mcconnell has not been shy, nor has senator schumer, about taking shots at each other in those speeches out there. they are not buddy buddy. they still go after each other. >> you know, i remember when reid succeeded as democratic leader against tom daschle, and mcconnell succeeded after the republican leader, and there was talk about them, and they are both whips. they both know how to get things done. they are both pragmatic. years, how wrong that prediction turned out to be, because it is such a partisan job, and i think the senate is changing, and you talk to any senator who has been there a long time, it is the same.
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it has become more political and more partisan as the explosion of interests and fox news and msnbc and political roll call, and every story gets magnified, often through a political lens, and that makes it tougher to maintain a good relationship. we are seeing that that was a surprisingly warm -- i have not seen the clip before. there seemed to be genuine affection there, but watching on the floor, i also see some genuine frustration. host: the minister put things -- they manage to put things aside, and this has brought other people in, like i said, we will have to see how it goes, and you mentioned daschle. daschle ined against 2004, and that was a big change from the days of howard baker
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and it is getting harder for these folks to work together. chuck schumer went out in the shutdown. to get this over with, with a personal relationship. >> amy mcgrath. it would irritate mitch mcconnell. host: there have been some spats in washington of recent, and we want to show you one that took place publicly. president trump: we caught 10 terrorists. these were people looking to do harm. we need the wall. more important than anything, we
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need border security, of which the wall is just a piece. chuck, did you want to say something question senator schumer we have a lot of : disagreements are. "the washington post" gave you a lot of pinocchio's today. that is not the point. we have a disagreement about the wall. not on board security but on the wall. we do not want to shut down the government. you have called 20 times to shut down the government. you said, "i want to shut down the government." we do not. we want to come to an agreement. if we cannot come to an agreement, we have legislation that will pass the house and senate right now that will not shut down the government, not to shut down the government. president trump: the last time you shut it down, you got killed. senator schumer: let me say some the, mr. president. you say, we will shut down the wall. my way, or we will shut down the government. we have proposal that democrats and republicans will support that will not shut down the government. we urge you to take it.
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president trump: and if it is not good border security, i will not take it. when you look at these numbers, the effectiveness of our border security, you look at the job we are doing -- can i tell you something? we have the wall. host: that was to new york is going out each other. like for a parking space or something. alex: that was a brilliant moment for schumer because he caused trump to commit a major gaffe, trump said, i will be the one to shut it down, i won't blame you for it, speaking to schumer and pelosi. he claimed credit for the shutdown and senate republican leadership had to come up with talking points to label the shutdown, which many knew was coming. schumer shut down 2.0, because there was a shut down in 2018
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over the daca, the dreamers' deportation. republicans had to rip up the talking points and throw them away because schumer outfoxed trump by getting under his skin, talking over him. he was dominating the press conference, and schumer wouldn't let him dominate it and got the president frustrated and he made a major gaffe. >> what they talked about schumer knew had to work , trump. neither he nor nancy pelosi are intimidated by trump in the slightest and he just baited them in. and chuck schumer, like he just said he was behind , the little shut down in 2018 in january. they went a week and the democrats couldn't get out of it fast enough. chuck schumer made that shutdown happens, and he knows that, and he didn't want to do that again, and that moment when he finally gets the president to say he is going to take the mantle,
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schumer was, i got him, now i got him. host: are you suggesting the bait was preplanned? >> i do not know how preplanned it was, but they were going to badger him, saying we need a big shutdown, a good shutdown, and i wrote a piece about that, saying this was a huge issue. ever says, "this is my shutdown," and it was just a disaster for trump. it really hurt them during the shutdown. alex: absolutely. trump's numbers dropped noticeably. schumer crushed trump on the shut down, and pelosi did, too, both of them together. host: mitch mcconnell had the rug pulled out from under him by him.
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the president then changed his mind. mitch mcconnell did not appreciate that whatsoever. : let's bring this full circle. chuck schumer is currently minority leader in the senate. how do you view him? how do you see him? what is his legacy? what are his strengths? is too soon toy tell. i think he would be there for a while. he will be in history, and so does mcconnell, and reid very much had his eye on history. schumer has not had his time in the spotlight yet. but i think this could be the tough election for them. they are down a few seats. i personally think they made a mistake in the 2018 midterm. i know that carl wrote a piece, but i think the kavanaugh hearing
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was a disaster for them. if you talk to claire mccaskill and you talk to joe donnelly, i think they way they -- the way they brought out christine, and they demonized kavanaugh, that could be pivotal, and the question is, how long to democrats wait in the minority before they asked for a leadership change? i think right now, he has a lock on it. it looks like he will be the majority leader some day, but i do not think he can really assess his legacy until he reaches the pinnacle, which is to be the top leader in the senate. carl: his legacy at this point is that he has been able to democrats in the senate in the past, when he was in charge of the senate operations, and i think he is right. we need to see him as majority leader and how he would operate. and i think it would be very difficult for him right now, because the policies that are being put forward by the
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ascendant part of the party are not necessarily the policies that chuck schumer would want to get behind. medicare for all, universal health insurance. more schumer is a incrementalist in some ways in terms of policy, and how he would handle this new surge on the left or big, sweeping change or a big, climate change bill, big health care -- i don't know, but he has shown himself to be an extremely powerful political operative and now great policy operative. and what would he deliver? alex: one thing that is important that we have not discussed that i think is very important, he was the force behind the 2013 immigration reform bill. we are talking about the most difficult issue in policy in washington. that got 68 votes on the senate floor. 14 republicans supported. schumer was the mastermind.
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and so, ultimately, it did not go anywhere, all because paul ryan would not put it on the floor. if he did, it probably would have passed. that could have been a major achievement for him, but he was denied it, but it shows he can get major stuff done and build a bipartisan coalition, so i think it is maybe a taste of what could be greatness or historic accomplishments in the future. host: glad you brought that up. alex bolton of "the hill," with that publication since 2000, and carl holst is a chief washington correspondent for "the new york times." thank you. we want to close this out with chuck schumer in his own words, closing out the senate. senator schumer: well, these days, our political debate, which affects the public, and the senate is one of the places where it has affected it less, but instead of it being a
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fact-based debate, a political debate out there, and in the presidential campaign, it is a quick hit and nasty and worst of all, not even fact-based, and, you know, i think that that started in the house. i think, you know new gingrich along, but he started that style of debate in the late 1980's and it spread, and now the blogs and the social media perfected. -- perfect it. there is no fact checking or anything else. it's bad for america. i do not know how to deal with it. there used to be arbiters and maybe people didn't like the arbiters, and nbc news and others would have an arbiter, and they would say that is not true, we are not going to right. that doesn't happen on blogs, much is believed and it hurts the reputation of the senate beyond what it deserves. i mean, the gridlock, the inability to get big things done, that is deserved
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criticism. the fact that every senator is a scoundrel if you read the right-wing and left-wing blogs, that is not deserved, and a fine group of people as a whole is disrespected in the country. house and senate return for legislative work on monday. the house will take up a joint resolution to terminate the president's national emergency declaration that allows him to build a southern border wall with money that congress intended for other purposes. also, measures to require universal background checks for gun buyers and closing certain loopholes. on the senate floor on monday, it is the annual reading of george washington's farewell address. then, they will continue work on an abortion bill, and later in the week, the nomination of andrew wheeler to head the epa. here is more on the house action on thenned president's emergency declaration.


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