Chuck Schumer Slams Republican ‘Fanatics’ in Federal Shutdown Fight

Chuck Schumer campaigns for Daniel Squadron while eating some corn.

Chuck Schumer eating some corn on the campaign trail earlier today.

Senator Chuck Schumer, who once was confident Washington Republicans would “blink” and avert a government shutdown, isn’t so confident anymore.

“I’m worried,” Mr. Schumer told Politicker at a Brooklyn street festival earlier this evening. “These things sometimes get resolved at the last minute, but right now I’m worried because we have a small group of fanatics who seem to have a stranglehold on the Republican Party.”

A partial government shutdown will occur Monday at midnight unless House Republicans, who say they will only continue funding federal operations if they win concessions on Obamacare, resolve their differences with Senate Democrats, who say they will agree to no such thing.

“I’ll give you the basic line,” Mr. Schumer relented after twice declining to comment on the shutdown situation. “The basic line is: No matter how strongly one feels about an issue, you shouldn’t hold millions of people hostage. That’s what the other side is doing. That’s wrong and we can’t give in to that.”

Mr. Schumer, however, was very interested in his stated business of the evening: hitting the campaign trail on behalf of State Senator Daniel Squadron, a former Schumer aide who is a candidate in the public advocate’s runoff on Tuesday.

“Hello everybody,” Mr. Schumer repeated as he ambled down the street at the Atlantic Antic festival. “I’m Chuck Schumer. I’m here for Dan Squadron.”

Overall, Mr. Schumer did the best he could to rally the troops for Mr. Squadron, who is battling Councilwoman Tish James for the under-the-radar election, expected to draw only a relative handful of voters.

Many passersby recognized Mr. Schumer but were completely unaware of the race. Others, perhaps because the festival is in Mr. Squadron’s district, professed to be staunch Squadron supporters. “The press covered [the race] so little, we want to make sure people know about it,” Mr. Squadron told one fan.

“Bill de Blasio’s old job?” quizzed one man. “You’ve got me.”

Chuck Schumer Slams Republican ‘Fanatics’ in Federal Shutdown Fight