Constituents addressed cardboard cutout of Schumer when he did not attend town hall: report

Constituents addressed cardboard cutout of Schumer when he did not attend town hall: report
© Greg Nash

When Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election Senate fight derails bipartisan drug pricing bills Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges MORE (N.Y.) was unable to attend a town hall in Brooklyn on Monday night, attendees became inflamed and several even addressed a cardboard cutout of Schumer with their concerns, according to The Nation.

The roughly 100 attendees received word that Schumer could not make it due to airplane issues after many were already at the event, resulting in an atmosphere that resembled a "rally," according to The Nation.

Schumer has faced escalating pressure since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, with left-wing activists asking him to whip Democrats to oppose any nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark court case that legalized abortion in the U.S.

Schumer in a New York Times op-ed on Monday urged voters to contact their senators about blocking any nominee to the Supreme Court who would overturn the case.

Though Schumer wrote in his article that “sending Roe v. Wade back to the states would claw back a constitutional freedom to abortion that all American women have had for over 40 years,” town hall attendees expressed frustration that Schumer’s op-ed did not go far enough, The New York Times reported.

When a woman from local advocacy organization Indivisible Nation BK placed a cardboard cutout of Schumer in front of the town hall crowd on Monday, attendees began addressing the cutout with their concerns about the Supreme Court and the future of Democratic leadership, according to The Nation.

The Hill reached out to Indivisible Nation BK on Tuesday. The group did not immediately respond to request for comment. 

“We have some messages for Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election Senate fight derails bipartisan drug pricing bills Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges MORE, so we are going to deliver those messages,” Indivisible BK member Liat Olenick reportedly said.

One attendee addressed the cardboard cutout with a question about Schumer's support for black female candidates, while another asked the cutout about preventing school shootings, The Nation reported.

Though Schumer was unable to attend in person, he phoned in. About 300 people tuned into the conference call, Schumer’s office told The Hill.

Schumer apologized at the beginning of the call for his no-show.

"As some of you know, I fly around upstate New York in a tiny, little propeller plane, and unfortunately it ran into trouble with the fuel pump, and so we had to land in Utica," Schumer said at the beginning of the call, according to his office. "I’m here in Griffis International Airport taking this call. I really regret missing everybody because I love talking and mingling with my constituents and even when the comments are tough, you learn, you grow. So I have no problem with passion and even frustration, 'cause I share it  — both of those things. And so I suggested we do this tele-town hall meeting not as a replacement, but rather as the best substitute available at this time, because as [Council Member] Brad [Lander] said, my powers of tele-transportation are limited." 

He went on to field constituents’ questions about the Supreme Court and health care. He also said he would focus on pressing the two abortion-rights Republican senators to reject any nominee who threatened Roe v. Wade, according to the Times.

A spokesman for Schumer told The Hill on Tuesday that the senator is working to reschedule the town hall.