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Open Microphone Snares Sen. Chuck Schumer

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) - Senator Chuck Schumer may have some explaining to do after having some explaining to do.

Tuesday, Schumer was caught going over budget talking points with his fellow Democratic senators on a conference call. Apparently Schumer didn't know some reporters had already joined the call, and the exchange was caught on tape.

Schumer was heard explaining to his fellow Democrats why he favors characterizing spending cuts proposed by the GOP as "extreme" and "draconian."

"I always use the word 'extreme,' that's what the caucus instructed me to do the other week," Schumer said.

"The subtext of this is, the only way we can avoid a shutdown is for (House Speaker John) Boehner to come up with a reasonable compromise and not just listen to what the Tea Party wants,'' Schumer said.

WCBS 880's Peter Haskell: Schumer Stands By His Comments


Republicans immediately jumped on Schumer's statement. "We have seen what the motive is behind Mr. Schumer,'' House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said. "He says every spending cut is unreasonable.''

Douglas Muzzio, a professor of Baruch College School of Public Affairs, says Schumer should've known better.

"You don't give away the strategy by talking into a live mic that you don't know is on," Muzzio said.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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