Explaining Schumer's curious absence
April 10th, 2013
02:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Explaining Schumer's curious absence

(CNN) – When a deal on expanding background checks was announced Wednesday, only two senators stood on stage – Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Absent was another lawmaker with a long history of advocating for gun control: Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat.

Two sources familiar with the situation told CNN that Toomey did not think it was a good idea for Schumer to attend the press conference announcing a bipartisan background check deal, because Toomey feared it would antagonize the powerful National Rifle Association.

Though Schumer made a name for himself in the 1990s as someone who loves the cameras, he is more focused these days on coming across as a leader who can reach across the aisle and rack up legislative accomplishments.

For that reason, Schumer told Manchin Tuesday night at former congressman Joe Scarborough's fiftieth birthday party that he thought Manchin and Toomey belonged out front, and that he did not need to be involved in the rollout, according to a Senate Democratic aide.

"Passing the bill is more important than who gets the credit," said the aide, asking to speak without attribution to discuss private conversations.

Filed under: Charles Schumer • Joe Manchin • Pat Toomey
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. much thunder..little rain

    the idea is to have support from all senators ..schumer is a tv hog who just wants his mug on at 6 an 10....america needs more 60/40 leadership not ego nuts like schumer

    April 10, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    That's one way to look at it. The other is that by putting Toomey's and Manchin's faces prominently on the front of the deal, both of whom are have high ratings from the NRA and have in the past been NRA darlings, it pretty much dares the NRA to show just how ideologically stilted and out of touch it is when it goes nuts over the deal and stabs its own two little sweethearts in the back. Sure, Schumer being on stage with them would hamper that effect, but that effect was the main play, not Schumer's exclusion from the rollout.

    April 10, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    much thunder..little rain

    .america needs more 60/40 leadership not ego nuts like schumer

    you mean like Rand Paul/Lindsey Graham/John McCain who never met a camera thet couldn't posture in front of?

    April 10, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Selena

    Or the fascist is a coward. Most are.

    April 10, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz aka Take Back The House

    This is not about politics. This it's about doing what is right. Trust me. We're keeping an eye out for all of those senators who oppose common sense gun reform measures. Your day is coming in November 2014.

    April 10, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. truth hurts but reality bites

    Or maybe he saw the 20 percentage point DROP in NY Governor Cuomo's poll numbers after he signed their new gun laws into law. Democrats will lose a LOT of seats across the country with their endless attacks on our 2nd Amendment rights.

    April 10, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Jeff in Virginia

    Leave it to Dana Bash to.. .well.. bash.. a sitting senator who is trying to save lives. Shame on you, Dana.

    April 10, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Donna

    Joe Manchin??? You mean the Joe Manchin that had a campaign ad of him shooting the Cap & Trade bill of Obama's? Well, West Virginia, you now see that electing Democrats gets you sold out to the far left. Wake up next time and get rid of this clown if you want to protect your 2nd Amendment rights. Manchin is a sellout.

    April 10, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. 2012liberal

    I wanted 2 take the time 2 talk 2 the whiners of our country demanding less government. Watch what u ask 4 u may get it. Well u got it. Lets start w mental illness that got defunded by reagan and has gone south from there. Actions hv consiquences. This is just one part. Chicken home 2 roost. How's that been working 4 u reaganits? 2nd u all cry about enforcing laws already on book. Guess what that takes more of? Bingo govt workers! 3rd whaa whaa veterans affair, wars ending n record pace w more tramatized ppl needing help. Guess what? Yep more govt employees. U want less govt YOU HAVE IT! SHUT THE F UP!

    April 10, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Jeff in Virginia

    There's a ticker item further down the page asking why this dialogue is so difficult. I dunno.. maybe it's ticker items like this? For shame.

    April 10, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. 2012liberal

    Our unemployment rate would 6% if obama hadnt cut hundreds of thousands of govt workers. And congress holding up nomitations 4 need positions 4 obama terms is discusting. The gop plan is 2 make govt look like it doesnt run well. So they can shift functions 2 private for-profit business off taxpayer buck. Govt not n business for-profit. For-profit businesses ALWAYS COST TAXPAYERS MORE! Wake up ppl!

    April 10, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    Sen. Schumer is sacrificing his ego for his cause. Good for him. We could use a little more sacrifice in this Country for the Common Good. Too many people hollering about their "Precious 2nd Amendment Rights". A poor example compared to The Greatest Generation who sacrificed to win WW II.

    April 10, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    They are ALL frauds.

    Gun control will not reduce the attacks on the public at all. They will simply use OTHER weapons...........just like the stabbings at the TX community college.

    April 10, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. yippeeskip

    All Schumer has to do to antagonize anyone is to breath...never mind talking!!!

    April 10, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "just like the stabbings at the TX community college."

    You meant he knfe attacks that have yet to result in any deaths, but would have been a blood bath followed by a week of funerals if he was armed with a gun?

    April 10, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Ted Cruz (R-TX) is still promising to filibuster by the way, and McConnell made the highly unusual announcement that the Senate Minority Leader would join in the filibuster (usually leadership stays out of it just as a matter of unwritten rules/protocol). Deal this may be, but the GOP/Tetrolls are still fixin' to damage themselves by blocking any new gun safety legislation whatsoever under the pretense that it's all a grand conspiracy to take everyone's guns away.

    April 10, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. george cook

    How did so MANY non informed Liberals get on this site anyway....Oh I get it NO JOBS...thanks to BHO! And SChumer and Nancy Pelosi and the other Obstructionist Harry Scary Reid.

    April 10, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. shadowsd

    It's a good thing the scandal-plagued McConnell and his secret audio tapes mocking suicidal teenage girls aren't coming along for the meal.

    Were McConnell to have gone along, President Obama would have been able to quote the legendary Shredder catchphrase: "Tonight I dine on turtle soup!"

    April 10, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |