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Senator Schumer: Bolton won't face filibuster

RAW STORY
Published: Monday July 31, 2006

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A leading Democrat senator said that a filibuster of President Bush's controversial UN Ambassador John Bolton "is unlikely," RAW STORY has learned.

Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Senator, appeared last night on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. During the course of the interview, Schumer explained "I think that if you count the votes, a filibuster is unlikely, but a lot of Democrats are deciding, weighing the positive of Bolton that he's been for Israel and negative that he has almost an antagonistic, "go at it alone" attitude to the nations of the world, which we need with us to fight a war on terror."

Schumer confirmed that he himself was "open-minded" and has yet to make a final decision on the vote.

The New York Senator's remarks stood in contrast to those of Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic Whip, who told an internet radio show last week that the Democrats needed only one more vote to sustain a filibuster against Bolton, according to Steve Clemons at The Washington Note.

RAW STORY earlier reported that Schumer and junior New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton were both rumored to be ready to change their votes on Bolton due to pressure from New York-based Jewish groups who see the senators' votes on Bolton to be a possible litmus test of their support for Israel.

A transcript of Schumer's appearance is included below, taken from CNN Late Edition's website.

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BLITZER: Only a few seconds left. Are you ready at this point to reassess your opinion of John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and vote to confirm him?

SCHUMER: Well, let me say this. There's a good part of Bolton. He's been a staunch and very good defender of Israel at the U.N. There's a bad part of Bolton. He seems to have a "go at it alone" attitude at a time when we need the nations of the world on our side. We've seen that in Iran and North Korea in particular.

So I'm assessing it. I think that if you count the votes, a filibuster is unlikely, but a lot of Democrats are deciding, weighing the positive of Bolton that he's been for Israel and negative that he has almost an antagonistic, "go at it alone" attitude to the nations of the world, which we need with us to fight a war on terror.

BLITZER: So you're open-minded? You haven't made a final decision?

SCHUMER: Correct.