Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the midterm election results and MAGA Republicans’ failed attempts to dismantle our democracy. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Over the past week, there’s been a lot of discussion here in Washington and across the media about how the results of these midterms defied history and defied conventional wisdom.
I remember back in April and May, [some said] no way Democrats are going to keep the majority. They're going to lose a whole bunch of seats. And people are asking what happened.
Well, I think the answer, however, is rather simple: this year, Democrats ran with strong candidates. We compiled an extremely strong legislative record, which the candidates could run on.
Republicans, on the other hand, ran with flawed candidates who spent more time talking about MAGA extremism than the things that truly mattered to the American people.
After Republican failures in elections in 2018, in 2020, and now in 2022, I hope the message is sinking in: if Republicans continue to embrace MAGA radicalism, they are going to keep losing. So for their own sake but more importantly, for the sake of the country I hope that very soon the GOP rejects the MAGA wing and makes a commitment to work with Democrats in the next Congress.
The worst thing Republicans can do right now is to double down on the MAGA platform and embrace gridlock, but sadly it seems that’s the path that some on the other side still want to take.
In fact, Senator Rick Scott of Florida, who notoriously led the unsuccessful Republican Senate campaign efforts, recently suggested that one of the reasons Republicans lost on Election Day was because they actually worked too much with Democrats to pass bipartisan legislation. That they weren’t MAGA enough. It defies all logic.
If Republicans want to follow Rick Scott’s lead, make our day. Following Senator Scott is like following a blind man right over the cliff.
Remember, it was Senator Scott who released a platform calling for tax hikes on working and Middle Americans, which our candidates reminded people of in the election over and over again.
It was Senator Scott who threatened to put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block, which again was one of the most powerful arguments for why Republicans were wrong for the country.
And it was Senator Scott who embraced Trump and believed that the MAGA wing was the road to success, that denying the elections, that spreading the Big Lie, encouraging the MAGA extreme wing was the right thing to do.
The American people knew better. American voters ran in the opposite direction and voted for Democrats, including many Republicans who said, ‘I may be a Reagan Republican, I may be a Bush Republican, but this Republican party ain't one for me.’
After three failed elections, three in a row, it should be obvious that embracing MAGA is a total loser for the Republican Party. If anyone thinks otherwise, just look what happened last night in purple Arizona: Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee for governor, was declared the winner in her race against Kari Lake. Everyone thought Kari Lake would win because of her communication skills, but even she lost, proof positive that MAGA just doesn’t work.
I earnestly hope that in the next couple of months Republicans will realize it’s better for the country—and even better for their party—to focus instead on working with Democrats over the next two years to get things done for the American people.
Now I know this is not going to happen overnight, in the next week or two. Our immediate focus, of course, is the lame duck, where there’s a lot of work to be done.
But when the dust settles come January, and Republicans have hopefully resolved some of their own internal fights, we hope that at least some of them will realize that the scorched Earth MAGA policy is a failure not only for America but for them.
The usual pundits and skeptics and critics are saying, “Oh, this won’t happen.” But look at the major bills we did this summer: five of them – major bills –bipartisan. And before that? The fifth bill, the postal bill. All done bipartisan, significant legislation. We Democrats are going to work hard to replicate that effort.
Americans are tired of the chaos. They’re tired of the MAGA insanity. They’re tired of the very MAGA attack on the very roots of our democracy. They want leaders who will take their problems seriously. Most Americans know that Donald Trump is out for himself and only for himself, even if it hurts democracy, even if it hurts the Republican Party.
Republicans should learn that lesson or risk even more failure in the future.