Greg Nash

Former top Obama adviser David Plouffe on Monday blasted Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for opposing the Iran deal, suggesting it makes him unfit to lead Senate Democrats. 

Plouffe’s comments came in response to Schumer’s assertion Monday that Obama should go back to the negotiating table with Iran and “try to get a better deal.”  

{mosads}He called Schumer’s claim naive and suggested Senate Democrats will miss Harry Reid, the current Democratic leader the New York senator is expected to succeed in the next Congress.

“Mitch McConnell will have a field day with this kind of naïveté. We will miss Harry Reid,” Plouffe tweeted.

The comments from Plouffe, who managed Obama’s 2008 campaign and served as a senior White House adviser, are another sign of the deep frustration with Schumer within Obama’s orbit. 

Schumer, the number-three Senate Democrat, dealt a blow to the administration by publicly announcing his opposition to the deal last Thursday. 

The timing was bad for the White House, which is seeking to build support for the agreement over the August recess ahead of a congressional vote expected next month. 

Schumer’s position makes it more likely opponents of the deal will get the votes they need to pass a resolution to kill the deal through Congress. But Obama has said he will veto that legislation, and it will be difficult for critics to amass the two-thirds majority necessary in both chambers to override the president. 

White House officials have downplayed the impact of Schumer’s decision, eagerly pointing out four Senate Democrats have announced their support for the deal since his announcement, and none have come out against it. 

Still, Schumer is an influential figure in the Democratic Party and his decision angered the administration. 

Other former Obama administration officials, including former Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer, have suggested Schumer’s decision should disqualify him from becoming the top Senate Democrat. 

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest last Friday would not go that far, but said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Schumer’s Democratic colleagues “consider the voting record of those who want to lead the caucus.”

Schumer dismissed the notion his decision to buck Obama on Iran would affect his status as the heir apparent to Reid.

In a positive sign for the White House, Schumer rejected suggestions that he could convince other Democrats to oppose the deal. 

“This is not going to be one of those things where you can force anybody to vote,” he said at a press conference. “This is a decision of conscience. It was for me and I will respect that in every one of my colleagues.” 

Still, he showed he wouldn’t back down from publicly making the case against the deal. He pushed back against Obama’s assertion that critics of the accord want war. 

“Some say the only answer to this is war. I don’t believe so,” Schumer said. “I believe we should go back and try to get a better deal. … The nations of the world should join us in that.”

Tags Charles Schumer Harry Reid Mitch McConnell

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