10:40 a.m. E.T
My “Morning Joe” colloquy with the Gentleman from Brooklyn:
MARK HALPERIN: Let me move you to the fiscal cliff. You are a former House member. You get the dynamics of the House and you’ve commented a lot on Speaker Boehner and his conference throughout this process. What’s your best sense now, based on what the Speaker said since the election? The Senate seems ready to compromise. The President’s going to propose. What’s your best sense of the dynamics that Speaker Boehner is operating under now.
CHUCK SCHUMER: The House wants, Boehner wants to compromise. That’s why he gave that speech. You know, Boehner’s not a hard right guy. He’s a mainstream conservative. He’s a conservative, don’t get me wrong, but he’s a Scarborough conservative.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You’ve just insulted the Speaker of the House but go ahead.
CHUCK SCHUMER: I consider it a compliment. In any case, he does. And I think it’s going to help because the hard right is chastened in a lot of ways. You know, Democracy works in its slow grinding way. All these Tea Party guys went home, I saw it in New York. They didn’t campaign on the same platform they campaigned in 2010. “Oh, no. I’m for this. I’m for that. I’m not for cutting this. I’m not for cutting that.” And, so, first, I think they’re going to be less hard-nosed. Will Grover Norquist and his group? No, and that’s why, yesterday, what we really need is some counterbalance in the Republican Party. We need the business leadership of this country to say, “Come to a compromise and it needs revenues, not fake revenues.” You know, this idea that if you cut taxes you gain revenues. They call it “dynamic scoring.” The CBO put out another report yesterday which showed that it doesn’t work. I called Rumpelstiltskin economics, you know, the guy who turned straw into gold. That doesn’t work. But bolster these guys. And the business community leaders, conservative Republican leaders of businesses, worried about the fiscal cliff, have said to me, “I’m willing to have my rates even go up if I know it’s part of a big package that reduces the deficit.”