Schumer: I Always Use the Word Extreme


Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a few of his fellow Democrats had a conference call lined up with reporters to talk about the budget. Before the conference began, Schumer thought it would be a good idea to coach his colleagues on how to portray Republicans and Speaker of the House John Boehner. “I always use the word extreme,” he said, unaware that reporters were already on the line and listening in. According to the New York Times, they shut up when someone realized their comments weren’t private, but that didn’t stop them from mindlessly parroting the talking points.

After thanking his colleagues — Barbara Boxer of California, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how to cut spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John A. Boehner of Ohio, the speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said. “That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.”

A minute or two into the talking-points tutorial, though, someone apparently figured out that reporters were listening, and silence fell.

Then the conference call began in earnest, with the Democrats right on message.

“We are urging Mr. Boehner to abandon the extreme right wing,” said Ms. Boxer, urging the House to compromise on the scale of spending cuts and to drop proposed amendments that would deny federal financing for Planned Parenthood and for government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Carper continued with the theme, referring to some House Republicans’ “right-wing extremist friends.”…

The Washington Examiner provides more of Schumer’s commentary, before he realized they weren’t alone.

“The main thrust is basically that we want to negotiate and we want to come up with a compromise but the Tea Party is pulling Boehner too far over to the right and so far over that there is no more fruitful negotiations,” Schumer said on the call. “The only way we can avoid a shutdown is for Boehner to come up with a reasonable compromise and not just listen to what the Tea Party wants. “

The Republicans ought to be pushing the talking point that what’s extreme is spending us into oblivion, with no plan to reduce the deficit or the national debt. So was failing to pass a budget, and then threating to shut down the government.

Via memeorandum

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