“The current mayor is failing. I’m the answer.” That was Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey as he offered a harsh analysis of the “current mayor” and displayed supreme self-confidence in his ability to correct those perceived failings.
Speaking to a packed room of about 125 people at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club Monday evening, Massey demonstrated strong speaking skills and a steady, friendly temperament that easily engaged his audience. He shared their disdain for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who Massey never referred to by name, but there was a meaningful gap between Massey and his audience on several issues.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey offered a less than full embrace of President Donald Trump. Speaking briefly after an appearance at the Metropolitan Republican Club Monday evening Massey offered only modest criticism of Trump’s recent executive order banning refugees and residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
On the so-called “travel ban”, Massey began with a declaration that “we’re a city of immigrants” and defended the travel ban only so far as it may address realistic security concerns around controlling entry to the U.S. He added that any such security measures should “be done with dignity and respect for everyone.” When asked his broader view of Trump’s first ten days in office Massey demurred, saying only that “I disagree with him on a bunch of policies” before pivoting to talk about the importance of a mayor “getting along with the federal government” as well as the governor of New York, and attacking Mayor de Blasio as “corrupt … divisive … incompetent.”
His lukewarm comments toward Trump separate him from his audience, which appeared enthusiastically supportive of Trump. Notably Eric Ulrich, one of Massey’s Republican mayoral rivals, is also not a strong Trump supporter. Their coolness toward Trump may be a significant element in the nascent Republican primary.
Here’s what Massey had to say: