Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis today offered a more direct criticism of President Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville rally and his Tuesday press conference, saying that she’s “very disappointed in how the president handled the situation.” Malliotakis also said that the president should have directly attributed the violence in Charlottesville to white supremacists. Malliotakis previously spoke about Charlottesville in a brief interview with me Sunday and at a press conference Monday. Her comments received significant criticism, with Mayor de Blasio’s campaign attacking her over her Sunday comments.
Malliotakis quickly pivoted to criticizing Mayor de Blasio for his attacks on her on Charlottesville and for trying “to paint me as … ultra-right wing.” She described herself as “very offended” at the mayor’s attacks and especially at his use of those attacks to fundraise. Malliotakis sidestepped a question of whether she’s concerned about the effect of Trump’s words on Republican candidates here in New York City, saying that “every individual should be judged on what they say, what they propose, and not by anybody else in their party” and analogized having a mayor and governor who “don’t see eye to eye” to her differences with President Trump. Malliotakis then returned to criticizing Mayor de Blasio’s performance in office, saying that he should defend his record rather than attempt to “tie me to the one guy who has an 18% approval rating in the City of New York.”
We spoke today following a Staten Island press conference in which Malliotakis and fellow Staten Island Republican Assembly Member Ron Castorina, Jr. called for additional stop signs on roads near schools.
Here’s our exchange:
Update – Photo Gallery: