Spin Cycle

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Schumer disputes claim he coached Lazio vs. Hillary Clinton

Onetime U.S. Senate candidate, Rick Lazio, is claiming

Onetime U.S. Senate candidate, Rick Lazio, is claiming in a book due out July 22, 2014, that U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer coached him during his Senate run against Hillary Clinton. In this debate on Sept. 13, 2000, Lazio advances on his opponent. (Credit: AP / Richard Drew)

In 2000, Sen. Charles Schumer so feared being upstaged by Hillary Clinton that he coached her GOP opponent for senator from New York, Rick Lazio.

That's the claim of Lazio, according to a new anti-Clinton book to be published July 22 -- and Schumer denies it.

Lazio has not responded to an email query.

The book is "Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, " by Daniel Halper, the online editor of the neocon Weekly Standard.

According to the NY Post story by  its Washington bureau chief Geoff Earle, Lazio said: "I thought he was generally . . . He was supportive. Quite helpful to me behind the scenes and encouraging."

Not so, said Schumer spokeswoman Meredith Kelly.

"Sen. Schumer was a die-hard Hillary supporter from the moment she announced she was running for the Senate. He and Mr. Lazio had a fine relationship and worked well together in the New York delegation, but Mr. Lazio’s recollection of the campaign just doesn’t match reality," she said.

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