10:05 am Sep. 20, 2012
On "Hardball" last night, Chuck Schumer celebrated the effects of Mitt Romney's tough few weeks on his quest to keep Democrats in control of the Senate.
"I'll tell you what's happening: Romney is bringing the entire Republican ticket down," Schumer told Chris Matthews. "One of the reasons our Senate numbers have gone up in the last few weeks, is distaste for Romney and this kind of attack politics without being able to say what he's really for."
On Tuesday, New York Times poll-cruncher Nate Silver said Democrats were now poised to retain control of the Senate, and as Schumer noted, Romney's comments about the 47 percent of the population that pays no income taxes from a May fund-raiser have kept Republican Senate candidates on the defensive.
"Today you had Scott Brown not even admitting that he would endorse Romney," Schumer said. (A spokesperson for Brown later clarified his comments to say he's still supporting Romney.)
"Mitch McConnell at his weekly press conference didn't even take questions because he would have been asked about the 47 percent. Three Republican candidates denounced what Romney said. So he's taking the whole ticket down."
Schumer said the Romney campaign's attempt to pivot to a 1998 clip of President Obama supporting some measures of "redistribution" would't work, because Americans support policies like the Earned Income Tax Credit, veterans' benefits, and Social Security.
"It shows how desperate they are, to come up with a tape," Schumer said. "They probably had it in their back pocket, it didn't just pop up. They're trying to change the subject. It's not working."
He also dismissed the prospect that Romney might rescue himself from the current situation by offering more specific policy proposals.
"Their problem is everyone is saying be specific," he said. "If they were specific, they would have to show what they really believe and what they really believe, being hard right, is so far away from the American people that they know they'd lose."