Schumer: Our Goal Is to Make Sure 90 Percent of People Know Who the Koch Brothers Are

‘I think the Koch brother thing will work ... it shouldn’t be the number one strategy, but it’s an arrow in the quiver’

SCHUMER: "Well, first of all, the fact that 48 percent of Americans know who the Koch brothers are in May or in April -- it's April. It feels like may. That'll mean about 90 percent of them will know it in October. And that's going to be something. Second, what we're doing is we're showing that these ads that the Koch brothers are largely responsible for, we're showing who's behind them. People who are closing, cutting jobs in Alaska, North Carolina. People who put this giant pete thing pete -- I forgot what it's called in the Detroit river in Michigan that polluted a lot of the area. And so it's different than George Soros. First, the Koch brothers are doing far more with ads that people recognize, and second they're real issues, just not ideological issues but specific issues in the state about them. And I think it's going to make a difference. It's going to undo the sting of a lot of these ads. We're already finding that in the polling in a few of the states."
BRZEZINSKI: "I see."
SCARBOROUGH: "You look at the poll numbers, 52 percent have never heard of the guys."
SCHUMER: "That's -- but wait til -- I think the fact that 48 percent or 40 percent have heard of them already -- "
SCARBOROUGH: "Shouldn't you be focusing more on your positive program than you should be on trying to vilify the Koch brothers like you guys tried to vilify Mitt Romney and said he's responsible for a guy's wife dying? I mean that's not -- Come on."
SCHUMER: "Let me just say this. OK, let me just say this. The Koch brothers aren't just sitting there innocently on the side. They're spending $40-, $50 million in ads that are not focused on their real agenda which is just eliminating all regulation on corporations, cutting taxes to virtually nothing. And so that demands a response. So I don't feel sorry for them. I don't feel their first amendment rights are being hurt or anything like that. They're the ones running these ads almost single handedly. They've done a lot of bad things in this state. I think it's a -- if it's our only strategy, we'll lose. We must have a positive agenda that's what our fair shot agenda is. But we also have to have a shield that protects us from these ads. And I  think the Koch brother thing will work."
SCARBOROUGH: "Jeremy, does it, though, in your reporting do you find out a lot of times Democrats stumble over themselves when they -- you know, they've got a guy out in San Francisco who has a brother, together they want to spend $100 million to shape the election this time. You have the senator from Alaska talking about the Koch brothers using actors in their ads and that it ends up the senator attacking the Koch brothers used actors in their ads, saying 'oh, they put me out of work.' And they were actors."
SCAHILL: "I don't think they were actors. I think they were regular people who didn't work at the plant. And that's the Koch brothers' point maybe there's disengenuineness with these adds, but that's usually the case with any type of political attack ad. I guess what I would ask Senator Schumer is these midterm elections are all about voter intensity. And right now the intensity is with Republicans. So it really viable to use the Koch brothers to drum up intensity on the left?"
SCHUMER: "Let me tell you. The left and all of America feels people don't get a fair shot. They feel the system is rigged against them. The Koch brother's ads talk a little bit about that and say don't let it happen. And I think it is not the only strategy, it shouldn't be the number one strategy, but it's an arrow in the quiver. The main strategy we have to have is who's going to help the middle class get out of this morass? I compare our agenda, our fair shot agenda to the Ryan budget every day of the week. He gave us a gift, Paul Ryan did. That budget is so out of touch with what average, middle class people want, that when you see the contrast it's going to make a difference. And that's what Tuesday is about. That's the opening day when we talk about pay equity which is one of our eight ways to help middle class people advance and un-rig the system. The Koch brothers with their ads, no different than the ads on the left, are rigging the system."
BARNICLE: "What do you say when you go to a town hall meeting in Syracuse, someone says 'Senator Schumer, I don't know the Koch brothers are. I don't know who they are, I don't care who they are. But you've been talking about this since January 1st or whenever and I've been unemployed for five months and you can't pass extension of our unemployment benefits."
SCHUMER: "Well, we're going to pass it in the Senate today actually, after trying three times. And I think that's going to happen on a few of these other issues. I'm not so sure the Republicans want to go against pay equity or minimum wage or give tax breaks for jobs that go overseas or helping kids get to college. I think that we have to be positive about what we want team to do. In Syracuse they're going to care about SU losing in the second round. But in Alaska, in North Carolina where they've seen all these ads, it has far more trenchant effect. It will have an effect. because people do -- they understand politics and all these ads and all that. But when they hear people running the ads and saying all the bad things about someone they like, a Bagich or a Hagan, is actually shutting down jobs in their state and this is their way of doing it, allowing them to do it more and more and more without any help from middle class people, from the government, it'll matter."

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