This morning, I attended a reporter’s breakfast that Third Way held with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Here’s what caught my attention:

(Chip Somodevilla/GETTY IMAGES)

- “They don’t really have a plan for jobs. Nobody believes that deregulation, which may have some positive effects five years from now, is going to change this.”

- “We are going to be labeling tea party economics. Tea party double-dip recession. Tea party gridlock. We think that’s going to have a real effect. So in a sense, it’s a sword and a shield. The sword is our effort to do something on jobs. The shield is pointing out what’s keeping us from moving forward.”

A reporter asked Schumer why voters were supposed to blame Republicans for economic outcomes when Democrats control the White House and the Senate. “We don’t control the Senate,” Schumer shot back. “You write that and it’s false.”

“There was one major mistake in the stimulus bill, which I think will go down in history as a very positive bill,and that was letting the appropriators put about 10 percent of the bill into normal, government spending stuff. But 80 to 90 percent of the stimulus bill I believe worked.”

- “This administration, like the past administration, has not done enough to counter China’s mercantilist, anti-free trade, aggressive policies. And it is amazing to me that in America our establishment just shrugs its shoulders. Education and a few other issues, but to me, this is one of those where it’s about whether, in 10 years, America prospers. They’re taking our seed corn!”

- “I think the tea party has done a couple of things that have changed America in a positive way. Deficit reduction is on the table. It’s a consensus. And second, there’s more of a focus on wasteful government programs.”

- “Sixty percent of all new jobs in previous recoveries were in construction because traditionally the way you got out of a recession was lower interest rates and people bought houses and cars but houses were numbers. We’re not getting any of that the way to prime the pump is infrastructure.”

- “The idea that I’m looking at because we’re so desperate for infrastructure jobs is to tie repatriation -- which I don’t like, I’d vote against it on its own, because I don’t think it creates jobs -- but tying repatriation to an infrastructure bank...if you did repatriation at about 10 percent rather than five percent, which makes the left a little less unhappy, you get $30-$50 billion for the infrastructure bank, that’s leverage 6:1 and so that’s about $200 billion of infrastructure. The highway bill is $70 billion. And the hope would be to get both business and labor behind it. But I’ll tell you this: repatriation on its own will not pass unless it’s attached to something that creates jobs.”

- “The number one fact of this decade, which is why the tectonic plates are moving on both sides, is that middle-class incomes are declining for the first time since World War II.”