New York, N.Y. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today was interviewed on ABC News’s The View. Below is a transcript of the interview:
Whoopi Goldberg: First of all, Happy New Year.
Leader Schumer: Thank you.
Goldberg: I saw you marching, but Chuck Schumer is dealing with potential threats everywhere from the skies above to the other side of the aisle. So here to tell us about how he plans to deal with all of this, the fabulous Chuck Schumer.
I have to ask, did you watch the Super Bowl?
Schumer: Oh yeah.
Goldberg: And was it a thumbs up for you?
Schumer: Well you know, I'm a Giants fans. I'm a Bills fan. But, it was great. First, to see two great teams play. It was one of the greatest Super Bowls. I didn't know who I’d root for. I don't like Philadelphia so much because of the Giants. I don't like Kansas City because of the Bills. But Mahomes took my heart. He went against a tough team. You saw the grimacing on his face when he was hurt. That 20-yard run where he set them up for a touchdown, going to be one of the greatest things about the Super Bowl. Almost like when the Giants’ Dave Tyree caught that ball back there. So, I loved that. And I liked seeing Rihanna way up there. And I was told she was going to bring a guest but I didn't know it would be such a tiny little guest.
Sara Haines: Speaking of plus ones, before we dive into to hot topics, we have some really important news.
Schumer: Oh, yes, yes.
Haines: You have a new member of the family.
Schumer: I am a grandpa for the third time.
Henry was born four days ago to my daughter-in-law and her wife, my daughter. We are so happy. It was a little special what I did today. Because he came home yesterday. This is the tie I wore to my daughter's wedding to her wife and I was so happy that I put it on today.
Haines: Little funny thing because I wanted to ask him what they call him. Because I was going to say I understand there’s a – he goes ‘Da.’ And I was like, oh tell me, what is that? And he goes, well they don't talk. I was expecting some grand explanation. Just ‘Da.’
Schumer: I have a 4-year-old and he calls me ‘Grandpa Da.’ I think he thinks it's short for Da Da. But that’s what he has been calling me all along but I guess it stuck.
Goldberg: Well Da is also the Irish grandpa, when you call somebody da, I believe. So Maybe he – who knows?
Schumer: Maybe my grandson is a little Irish. I don't think so.
Goldberg: You never know who’s where.
Schumer: Well he's a beautiful boy. Eleanor and Noah. You know, I hope everyone here gets to be a grandparent at some point. Because it's the greatest thing.
Sunny Hostin: That's what my parents tell me.
Goldberg: Or a-great grandparent. Or you know, that kind of thing.
Schumer: My mom's 94. She's got three great grandkids. Praise God.
Ana Navarro: I told you how much I love when you post with your grandchildren. Because it reminds us all of why you're doing this.
Schumer: You got it. You know, it is interesting. We passed the biggest pro-environment bill in a long time. But what motivated me even more – I ride my bicycle in Brooklyn, by Coney Island. It's a beautiful wetlands. I'm not a spandex guy. I’m not going at 30 miles an hour. I take in the sights. But when my first grandson, Noah, was born, 2 weeks after I was riding my bike and I said, I wonder if he'll ever see this. It motivates us. It does.
Alyssa Farah Griffin: Also a pressing issue that will hopefully not impact your grandchildren. We’re all focusing on the Chinese spy balloon and these two other unidentified spy crafts that we found over the weekend. Still don't know what nation of origin they come from or what other details we may learn. What can you tell us that you’ve learned? Obviously, as the leader of the Senate you are someone who gets very briefed on this. And how concerned should the American public be about these objects?
Schumer: Great question. So look, we didn't know about it – Our military, our intelligence agencies knew nothing about this until recently. In fact, three of them went over the mainland United States when Donald Trump was president, one over Florida, one over Texas, I think the third one was Hawaii. They’ve only discovered this very recently.
But now, our military and the intelligence agencies are focused like a laser. They're getting new evidence every hour. They're getting the pieces from these objects that crashed. It was very good that one was in the water, the big first surveillance balloon. They're figuring out on that first one, what the Chinese were looking for. They're looking at the pieces of these others, and they're focused like a laser on figuring out what happened and coming up with sort of a some comprehensive analysis of how we deal with this present and future.
I can assure people we're getting a classified briefing in the next few days. We'll know more, and we’ll have learned a lot more between today and then, but I can assure the American people of this: If any of these objects present any danger to the American people or the American interests, they will be dealt with appropriately as the last ones have been.
Griffin: Just as a quick follow up: How do you think we managed to miss these? And how prevalent is the issue?
Schumer: It's a great question. How did we miss them is a great question. Senator Tester from Montana, you remember the first one was over Montana? He's going to do an investigation. I fully support the Senate, bipartisan, investigating why we didn't know sooner. It's a good question that we need an answer to.
Hostin: Yeah, especially if there were three others.
Schumer: And more before. How many before?
Hostin: Let me ask you this, Senator: In the latest chapter of the classified documents drama, we learned that members of Trump's team recently turned over more records just last month. This time including a laptop and a thumb drive with copies of classified pages reportedly uploaded by an aid from his political action committee. Why would an outside aide have access to classified documents?
Schumer: Well, I don't know the details of this aide, but I can tell you some of our aides – I have a few aides who have top secret clearance; they help me and learn – but I'll say two things about this. First, there's a difference between how Biden has reacted to the finding of these documents and Trump. Biden cooperated completely, Trump stonewalled for a whole year. But second, so what do we do? We have special prosecutors looking into each of these. Each is a tough person. Each has no relationship to the person they're investigating. Those prosecutors should not be impeded in any way. They shouldn't be blocked in any way. And we look all forward to see what they're finding. I think we'll get real answers from these folks. They’re pretty good.
Goldberg: These special prosecutors seem to be – that's the gig to have. That's the gig everybody is doing now.
Schumer: Whoopi, you're hired.
Navarro: Democrats and the President now have to work with a Republican-controlled House. I'm not sure he's much in control, but whatever.
Schumer: Yeah, you're right.
Navarro: But that's elevating extremists. They're kicking off Democrats from Committees, they are doing all sorts of crazy investigations, just right off the top. Tell me, how are you going to work with that –
Schumer: It's a great question. I’ve given it a lot of thought. First, in the Senate, which as you know, you need to do things in a bipartisan way because you need 60 votes for everything. We had an amazing bipartisan record. We accomplished seven big things in the last year. People say it was one of the most historic Congresses and Senates since Lyndon Johnson. And of those seven bills, six were bipartisan. The bill on gun safety was bipartisan. The bill on helping veterans was bipartisan. The bill on bringing chip manufacturing back from China to the American shores, which was a big deal, was bipartisan. Marriage equality ended up being bipartisan.
Schumer: Infrastructure, another one, that's right. Thank you. Were bipartisan. So what our plan is to continue working in a bipartisan way in the Senate to get more done. And then I think what's going to happen – it's a great question. So, you have these 20 MAGA people way out there but there are a lot of Republicans in the Senate – the House, rather. Some of the new ones, in particular, I think, who are going to realize if they follow these people who are far to the right, forget of the average American even of the average Republican. It's going to be like Thelma and Louise. They’re going to follow them right off the cliff. So, I think we’re going to be able to work with them and we will work with them to get things done. Our job for the American people is to get things done not just to make political statements but get things done to make people's lives better.
Goldberg: True that. Now, we’re going to have more with Senator Chuck Schumer when we come back.
Goldberg: We're back with Senator Schumer and Sara has the next question.
Haines: Yeah Senator. President Biden's State of the Union doubled as a soft launch, soft launch, for 2024. And President Biden has made historic accomplishments, which you were speaking to, in job growth, health care, infrastructure. But an ABC news poll – I know, earmuffs Whoopi – says that the voters are even less enthused about Biden running again than Trump. Now, can you explain the disconnect between what we are seeing and the successes and what the polling is showing?
Schumer: I think first, you can't always believe polling.
Goldberg: Thank you!
Schumer: There was a poll in 1983 that said Ronald Reagan would get clobbered and of course, he won a huge victory.
Second, I think part of it is that we now have to make sure the American people – they've read what we have done. But they haven't seen it. And this second year is going to be a year of implementing. Getting the good things that we did out.
Like let me tell you two things that are just starting. Anyone over 65 [on Medicare] will only pay $35 for insulin. That's a huge thing to people with diabetes. They may have read about it six months ago. Free shingles shots. For those of you 55, get a shingles shot. It used to be a lot of money. Free.
One other thing. We’re going to implement all this. So for instance, we had the most massive infrastructure bill ever. But no one saw it yet. Now, I came up from Washington to New York with the President. And we put in the first ground for Gateway, that big tunnel. And everyone in New York City is like, ‘Oh it’s real!’ People are going to see throughout the country, their bridges being rebuilt. Their health care getting better. The cost of [utility bills] is going to go way down because [appliances] are going to be greener and more efficient. So, the next year is an implementation year, for Biden and for us, to make sure people actually get the results of all the things we passed.
Navarro: I hope President Biden and you show up at all the groundbreakings in Republican states where some of the Senators who voted against it will be taking credit.
Schumer: We’ll be there!
Griffin: And Senator Schumer, one important question I want to end on. There's obviously some major issues the Democrats have been hyper focused on but not able to get through – voting rights, abortion, policing. Are there any issues, you would, Democrats would welcome eliminating the filibuster to get through?
Hostin: Especially policing.
Schumer: Yes, well, on the filibuster I would say this, we tried to do it for voting rights because we think voting rights is so so important that it's worth changing the rules. If you take away someone's voting rights and people lose faith that democracy works, that's the beginning of the end. We needed 50. Then Kamala Harris would have broken the tie. We got 48. Now, we have one more vote. It's something we're going to keep fighting for because voting rights are so damn important to this whole country.
Goldberg: Yeah and education. Make sure you shut down all this crazy stuff happening in Florida and in Texas because Black history is American history.
Schumer: That’s right. I agree.
Goldberg: Ok. Thank you, Chuck Schumer.
Schumer: Thank you.
Goldberg: Always a pleasure to see you.