Congressman Charles B. Rangel, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and the Rev. Michael Walrond slugged it out tonight in their fourth debate. Held at Lehman College in the Bronx, and hosted by NY1, the debate featured sharp exchanges as the electoral clock ticks louder.
All three candidates spoke with the press afterwards, continuing some of the debate themes and addressing some additional questions.
Rangel’s time with the press was quite a performance. Intensity, flashes of wit and indignation at questions he regarded as flawed in their premise demonstrated his political skill. Topics included his discussion of Espaillat’s 2012 “traitor” memo and comments last weekend by the Rev. Al Sharpton, whether Espaillat is hedging his electoral chances by preparing to run for re-election to the state senate should he lose this race, Rangel’s health, Eric Cantor and the Tea Party, the importance of local v. federal issues for a member of congress, deportation and Rangel’s description of Espaillat as a “trainee.”
Update – Espaillat:
Espaillat remained focused, attacking Rangel’s support of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which repealed Glass-Steagal, and a recent amendment of Dodd-Frank and asserting that Rangel “lied on the record.” Other topics included Rangel’s reference to Espaillat as a “trainee”, whether he will petition for re-election to the state senate, why he believes he could accomplish anything in a tea party-dominated House and a recent uptick in marijuana arrests.
Update #2 – Walrond:
For a first time candidate and political outsider, Michael Walrond appears to have a pretty firm grasp of the basics of running, promoting yourself and attacking your opponent. Topics included Rangel’s record, his congressional censure, whether Walrond should attack more in debates, whether he’s a spoiler, what he thinks he could accomplish in a tea party-dominated House, his work in Harlem, lessons from the defeat of Eric Cantor and whether he’ll be a “loyal Democrat” if elected.