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Schumer: McCain is 'not helping'

From NBC's Ken Strickland and Mike Viqueira
During a speech on the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) urged President Bush to "respectfully tell Sen. McCain to get out of town. He's not helping."

Schumer also requested that Bush get the his House Republicans in line. "We need President Bush to take leadership. We need President Bush, first and foremost, to get the Republican House members to support his plan or modify it in some way to bring them on board," he said.

He added, "When you inject presidential politics into some of the most difficult negotiations under normal circumstances, it is fraught with difficulty. Before McCain made his announcement, we were making great progress. Now after his announcement, we are behind the 8 ball. We have to put things back together again."

"So this is a plea to President Bush, for the sake of America, please get your party in line. Get the House Republicans to be more constructive; get Sen. McCain to leave town and not throw fire on these flames. And maybe we can get something done."

Meanwhile, per a GOP congressional source, McCain has told House Republicans leaders this morning that it was time to get someone to the negotiating table and work towards a deal.

House Minority Leader Boehner has now designated the whip, Roy Blunt, to be that person.

*** UPDATE *** RNC spokesman Danny Diaz issues this statement responding to Schumer: "Chuck Schumer is now attacking the person working to solve the mess he helped create. While Schumer was against reform in the housing industry, Sen. McCain was calling for it. And now that we have reached an economic crisis, Sen. McCain is focused on finding a solution and Schumer is focused on leveling political attacks."