“They can’t control the Bo” said Bo himself, speaking today at a press conference on 34th Street, answering his own question of why “they” do not want him to run for mayor. Bo Dietl continues trying to extinguish the firestorm that erupted following his Wednesday night comment that a judge who heard his lawsuit against the Board of Elections “looked like Charlene de Blasio (sic) and as soon as I saw her … I knew I had a problem.” He made a similar mea culpa last night at a Conservative Party dinner in Howard Beach.
Dietl began his press conference by reading a lengthy statement denying that he is a racist, recounting his humble origins and work as an NYPD detective, touting his business success and attacking the New York Post and the New York Daily News. The Post editorial board has called for Dietl to drop out of the race and a Daily News columnist has been harshly critical of Dietl. Dietl unambiguously asserted that he’ll stay in race through November, even if he does not get a Wilson-Pakula allowing him to run in the Republican primary.
As he did yesterday, Dietl maintained that he was simply making an observation of the similarity in appearance of Mayor de Blasio’s wife and New York State judge, but offered an apology “if I unintentionally hurt anyone.” He similarly offered apologies for past statements made on the Don Imus radio show while maintaining that any such comments comedy offered as part of a performance.
The sidewalk location injected passersby into the press conference. 10 to 15 of them settled in to watch, with a couple calling out questions and shouting support for Dietl and criticism of Mayor de Blasio. A passing driver shouted out support, drawing a fist pump and shout from Dietl. As Dietl frequently points out, he’s pretty well-known with name recognition infinitely greater than the others seeking the Republican nomination. That’s a solid plus, but it may not help him with his most immediately important audience. He continues his effort at gaining permission to run in the Republican primary, with time beginning to run short. He needs at least three of the five Republican county organizations to agree on granting that permission, via a “Wilson-Pakula.” While his current troubles may not greatly affect Republican primary voters, and it would likely fade long before primary day in September, they may well affect the willingness of county leaders to allow him into the primary.
Here is Dietl’s complete press conference:
Our photo gallery is available here.