Democratic nominee for mayor, Eric Adams, prepared Latino leaders for the Nov. 2 general election by invoking the name of Donald Trump in a Wednesday night speech in West Harlem.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Adams spoke before Latino elected officials and the Harlem community inside the Grand Slam Banquet Hall telling them to prepare to keep fighting for a Democratic mayor as he enters the final phase of the race against Republican Curtis Sliwa.
“We made a mistake years ago when we allowed someone like Donald Trump to become president of the United States. Let’s not make that mistake again. Let’s not elect someone that believes this is a circus and we are the clowns,” Adams said. “We are not to be played with. Do not allow someone to come in and thinks that this is some antics in some show.”
Sliwa denied ever voting for Donald Trump, having gone so far in the past as to call the former president a “screwball” and “crackpot,” steered into the skid in his response to the statement from his competitor by recalling a Ruggero Leoncavallo opera from his childhood.
“So call me a clown, but in the meantime I’m out there campaigning. I’m a man of the people. He’s somewhat forgotten his way as a man of the people. I’m in the streets,” Sliwa said. “Maybe I’m Pagliacci, upgrade me a bit… That used to be my grandfather’s favorite.”
Sliwa added that Fernando Mateo, his Republican primary opponent, was insistent that he was not a true Republican due to his history as a “never Trumper.”
Among those backing Adams for mayor at the event were council members Ydanis Rodriguez, Carlina Rivera and Francisco Moya, as well as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. The overarching message of Adams speech centered around providing city resources to Hispanic communities if he is elected mayor of New York City.
Adam’s, as the Democratic nominee, could be elected in the overwhelmingly Democratic city, and as such would be succeeding Mayor Bill de Blasio who was the target of criticism. Some of his remarks made reference to city contractors allegedly profiting off of problems such as drug abuse or the criminal justice system.
Adams also committed to holding commissioners in his potential administration accountable to local leader, stating that said commissioners who do not respond to issues will be “out the next day.”