Schumer: Senate Democrats could 'pick up a seat or two' in 2012

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, predicted that 2012 would be a good year for Senate Democrats.

"If I had to bet money on every single race where an incumbent Democrat is running — and trying to be objective, and betting all the money I had — I'd bet on the Democrat in every single race," Schumer said Wednesday at an event sponsored by the Third Way think tank.

Schumer said Democrats could "pick up a seat or two" in 2012.

"You've all seen what's happening in Massachusetts," Schumer continued. "We pick up a seat or two. And there's a real chance to pick up seats in Massachusetts, depending on the outcome in Indiana, in Nevada, maybe even in Arizona where Flake's numbers are poor. I think we pick up a seat or two, it's almost impossible to say we lose the Senate unless the roof falls in. And I think we're likely to pick up a seat or two — a Republican seat or two."

Additionally, Schumer called on Democrats to brand the Republicans as beholden to the Tea Party and far right. In a memo Schumer released on Wednesday, he wrote that it's time for Democrats to blame the Tea Party for the slow economic recovery.

"It's time for Democrats to stand their ground. The economic recovery is happening too slowly and too haltingly, and the Tea Party is to blame," the memo reads.

Democrats will tie the GOP to the Tea Party and far-right policies, Schumer said.

"We are going to be labeling 'Tea Party economics,' 'Tea Party double-dip recession,' 'Tea Party gridlock.' And we think that that is going to have a real effect," Schumer said. "So in a certain sense, it's sort of a sword and shield. A sword in that it's going to create jobs and a shield in pointing out that what's preventing us from moving forward on jobs is Tea Party economics and the Tea Party has a stranglehold on the Republican Party."

In response to Schumer about 2012, National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brian Walsh called the New York senator's comments are "out-of-touch with political reality."

—This story was updated at 12:10 p.m.