Cheap Shots, Props And Who Won The 2020 Presidential Election: Highlights From The Republican Debate For Mayor


Whereas the Democrats working for mayor have been dominating the headlines, the 2 Republicans searching for their very own occasion’s nomination took full benefit of their first head-to-head televised debate on Wednesday night time to lob private assaults at one another whereas arguing over who was the true Republican. 

Curtis Sliwa, the founder and head of the Guardian Angels, a nonprofit group of volunteers centered on crime prevention and identified for his or her crimson berets and sports activities jackets, faced-off on Zoom with Fernando Mateo, a restaurateur who’s the founding father of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.

Co-hosted by Gothamist/WNYC, The CITY, and NY1, the hour-long debate lived as much as its theatrical potential, with loads of shouting and schoolyard insults. Sliwa, additionally a radio present host and former NY1 political commentator, wasted little time attacking his opponent for fundraising for Mayor Invoice de Blasio and dwelling in Westchester, whereas Mateo repeatedly accused Sliwa of being a pretend Republican who had didn’t vote for Donald Trump.  

Sliwa was reprimanded for utilizing props, {a photograph} and a New York Submit article displaying his opponent with de Blasio. Mateo later whipped out a stuffed animal he referred to as “Trumpy Bear.” Each males needed to be muted a number of occasions. 

The occasion was the primary of two Republican major debates. Errol Louis of Spectrum Information NY1 was the host. He was joined by two moderators: Brian Lehrer from WNYC and Josefa Velazquez from THE CITY.

The Republican contest has generated comparatively little curiosity for good cause: Republicans are outnumbered seven to 1 by Democrats in New York Metropolis, making the Democratic major the doubtless determinator of the mayoral election. 

Neither candidate has but met town’s fundraising threshold; Mateo has raised $520,000 whereas Sliwa has raised round $313,000. Because of this, the controversy was not sanctioned by the Marketing campaign Finance Board.

Listed below are some highlights from the controversy.

Candidates Cut up Over Whether or not Donald Trump Received Re-Election

The identical divide that exists inside the Republican occasion nationally, between those that consider former President Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen and those that consider President Joe Biden was duly elected, additionally cut up the Republican candidates working for mayor. 

Requested by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer whether or not they believed President Trump received re-election, Mateo mentioned sure. “I believe he received re-election, sure I do. I consider Donald Trump was a very good president,” he mentioned.

Sliwa mentioned he didn’t suppose Trump received the 2020 election.

Mateo then attacked Sliwa for being a phony Republican. “Curtis is a clown. I believe his crimson beret is simply too tight on him,” he mentioned, mocking the signature cap Sliwa wears to indicate the Guardian Angels. “He by no means voted for Trump. He by no means supported the president.” 

Mateo additionally mentioned he supported the choice of town’s solely Republican within the congressional delegation, Consultant Nicole Malliotakis, to vote in opposition to the certification of the election outcomes, which occurred on January sixth, the identical day a violent riot stormed the Capitol. 5 individuals died in reference to the occasion.  

Sliwa, who was till just lately a member of the Reform Get together earlier than altering his affiliation to Republican final yr, mentioned he supported Malliotakis’ vote in opposition to certifying the election outcomes. 

“We had been entitled to an investigation,” he mentioned. (Sliwa additionally claimed to have Malliotakis’ assist; Matteo disputed that; Malliotakis didn’t reply to a request for remark.)

NYPD Reforms: Re-fund The Police And Pay No Tolls

The 2 candidates have positioned themselves in direct opposition to the “defund the police” motion, however they’re additionally promising to additional protect the NYPD and the police commissioner from what they are saying is pointless oversight.  

In his opening remarks, Sliwa mentioned he was impressed to enter the Republican race for mayor in order that he may “re-fund the police. ” He has proposed including 5,000 extra cops. 

Whereas some Democratic candidates for mayor have mentioned they might rein within the energy of the police commissioner and have a higher position in disciplinary choices, Sliwa argued that the NYPD at the moment has extra oversight than some other metropolis company and that he would hold “certified immunity” for officers.

Equally, Mateo promised to present his police commissioner “each authority that they should take care of the rank and file.”

Mateo mentioned he would fight subway crime by requiring two officers on each platform, a proposal that Sliwa scoffed at.

“You want them on the shifting trains,” Sliwa mentioned, including, “You haven’t ridden the subway. You reside up in Westchester.”

Each candidates mentioned they had been against a proposed requirement that new officers reside within the 5 boroughs, agreeing that cops ought to have the ability to reside wherever they select. 

However Mateo went a step additional: if elected mayor, he mentioned, all cops would not should pay bridge and tunnel tolls. 

“That will be a part of their package deal,” he mentioned. “Ensuring that they don’t pay one other toll on this metropolis.” 

How Many Cats Does Sliwa Have Once more?

A degree that Sliwa made repeatedly all through the controversy was his love for animals and his dedication to defending their welfare, sharing that he and his spouse have 15 rescue cats at their condo on the Higher West Aspect. 

Sliwa additionally claimed he collected sufficient unbiased nominating petitions to safe a spot on the November basic election poll on a brand new “Animal Welfare” line. (The final day to file these petitions with the Board of Elections was Tuesday; objections will be filed by way of Friday.) 

That variety of rescue cats was so onerous to course of that Mateo bought it unsuitable when he tried lob an assault again at Sliwa over his skilled document right here within the metropolis. 

“Curtis Sliwa is a subway rider. That is all he is aware of do, talk with the subway homeless individuals, as a result of that is what he takes satisfaction in. And he communicates together with his 13 cats and 14 litter bins in his home. That is what he does,” mentioned Mateo.

Broadway As The Nice Uniter

Though the 2 candidates discovered methods to agree throughout solutions to sure or no questions, there have been comparatively few pleasant or calm exchanges through the usually zany debate. Each criticized the C prepare as being the worst subway line.

“You wait and also you wait,” Sliwa groaned.

However the actual second of unity got here once they had been requested how they might rejoice town’s reopening. 

Each mentioned they might see a present on Broadway, which is scheduled to renew performances in September. Sliwa mentioned he deliberate to take his three sons to see the musical “Hamilton.” 

“I do know it will value me a fairly penny,” he added.

Calling Broadway the “lifeline of town,” Mateo mentioned he would go see “Jersey Boys,” which he mentioned had already seen three or 4 occasions.

At which level, Sliwa interjected: “I really like that musical too! So we agree!”