Speed Reads


Chuck Schumer: Democrats screwed up by focusing on health care

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) conceded Tuesday that Democrats made a mistake by using their 2008 electoral landslide to tackle health care reform instead of other issues more pressing to the middle class.

"Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them," Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said during a midterm post-mortem at the National Press Club. "We took their mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform."

Instead, Schumer said Democrats would have been better served by focusing intensely on economic issues. Doing so would have proven that robust government action can improve the lives of ordinary Americans, he said, which would have left Democrats in a more advantageous position heading into the last two midterm elections.