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Sen. Chuck Schumer: Romney Is ‘Desperately’ Trying To Be A Middle Class Candidate

New York Senator Chuck Schumer appeared on Thursday’s Morning Joe to discuss his efforts in reining in the amount of corporate money spent on political campaigns.

Host Mika Brzezinski started things off by noting that Schumer’s colleagues in the National Republican Senatorial Committee “point out you are the number one recipient of Wall Street money in the Senate, and it’s funny you’re decrying the role of corporate money in the political process.

“Is that,” she asked, “a fair criticism?”

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“No, of course not,” he responded, “because they don’t want to address the issue. Number one, it’s not corporate money; that can’t be given to an individual. Second, and most importantly, it’s disclosed and disclosed immediately and there are limited amounts. $5,000 per individual. This is not millions of dollars anonymously given and running huge kinds of negative ads.”

“I don’t know that Chuck would be the first guy I sent out there,” said Joe Scarborough, noting that Schumer is referred to as The Senator from Wall Street. “I’m not knocking you for it, but I am asking, are you really the best person to come forward and decry the powerful interest of corporate money?”

“Well, I’d like to see some of my Republican colleagues doing it,” Schumer responded, decrying the way Super PACs have altered the system so that giant amounts of money are now anonymously funding (mostly) negative ads. Later, Schumer said that “the vast majority, when you look at the numbers, is on the Republican side because they have most of the wealthy, wealthy donors.”

“No, we don’t. No, we don’t!” Scarborough interrupted. “You’ve got all the rich guys on Wall Street that have supported Democrats for years, Senator!” To drive his point home, Scarborough asked Schumer which President — in all history — has received the most money from Wall Street donors. “I guess you mean Barack Obama,” Schumer responded.

He then offered his analysis of how Obama differs from Mitt Romney when it comes to reaching out and relating to middle class Americans:

Look, I think Mitt Romney is desperately searching to show that he’s a middle class candidate, but he’s not. His upbringing is not middle class, his policies are not middle class, his think is not middle class. Barack Obama has found his stride and is focused on the middle class. So Romney tries to reach. But because it’s not real and it doesn’t come from the heart, it’s sort of false. He makes these gaffes, as he did yesterday, and they sort of show the true person. The average middle class person doesn’t say, “Oh poor people, to heck with all of them,” they say focus on us and give us some help. And Romney doesn’t get it. And I don’t think he will get it. And that’s why I think he’s fundamentally a weak candidate against Barack Obama, because he doesn’t have that internal gyroscope that says I am middle class, I care about the middle class, I want to do things for the middle class.

Have a look, via MSNBC:

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