Schumer beats McConnell in Capitol footrace to the TV cameras

Schumer cuts off McConnell at the Capitol and beats him to the microphones

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thought he was going to start a news conference first, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer swoops in and takes his spot.

A sneaky Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., scuttled Sen. Mitch McConnell’s plans for a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol, sparking a rare moment of laughter from the typically stoic McConnell. 

The camera-savvy Schumer saw that McConnell, R-Ky., was heading to the TV microphones Tuesday afternoon to address the press corps when the New York Democrat picked up his pace and beat him to the lectern. 

McConnell took the defeat in stride and started laughing at the move from the Senate’s top Democrat. The two leaders shared a candid moment of levity that’s not found too often at the Capitol. 

“The prerogatives of the majority,” Schumer boasted after beating out his GOP colleague. 

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, left rear, enjoy a brief bipartisan moment when they both arrived at the same time to speak to reporters about progress on infrastructure bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. 
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By winning the footrace with McConnell to the microphones, Schumer and the Democrats got first dibs on holding their weekly news conference, while McConnell had to take a backseat. 

When the Democrats were done, McConnell got his chance to make remarks and started off by joking about Schumer’s stealth move. 

“You all remember what they used to say about Chuck over in the House: ‘You never want to get between Chuck and the camera,’” McConnell quipped. “I just had a firsthand experience with that. I must say he was quite good at beating me to the microphone.”

The light-hearted press conference tussle came as the Senate is trying to pass a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal to invest in the nation’s roads, bridges, waterways and broadband access. 

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