NEW YORK — The work goes on — that’s the message and mission of New York City Republicans in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by some of President Donald Trump’s loyalists.
“All violence is violence,” said AJ Catsimatidis, chair of the Manhattan Republican Party. “All riots are bad. We condemn any violence regardless of who perpetrates it and what their political affiliations are.”
She added, “And we need to focus on making sure that our city is safe because that’s the only way that New York City is going to come back.”
Some leaders in Trump’s party are seen as complicit in the deadly attacks for echoing his rhetoric.
And most issued swift and broad denouncements of the violence at the Capitol.
“It was a dark moment in our history and it cost people their lives,” the Queens County Republicans posted. “Violence, property damage and disrespect toward law enforcement are never acceptable, no matter who is doing it.”
The Bronx GOP posted that the “seditious actions by a small group of the President’s supporters was reprehensible and borderline domestic terrorism.”
But other condemnations often also alleged a double standard, citing Democratic responses to demonstrations over the summer.
The truth is that the GOP made electoral gains in deep-blue New York City in 2020. Trump won more votes here than he did in 2016.
Nicole Malliotakis turned a congressional seat red.
“Whether people like to hear it or not, President Trump grew the Republican Party,” said City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island). “That goes without saying. I mean, it’s on paper. So I don’t think a lot of these people are going to be dissuaded because of things that he had said, or because of the insane actions of people who stormed the Capitol are fundamentally wrong and criminally liable, most likely.”
Malliotakis was in the House chambers when Capitol police rushed in to tell people to put on gas masks.
Still, in the hours after the siege inspired by Trump’s false allegations of widespread election fraud, she stood by her objection to Arizona and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.
“I believe that it doesn’t matter whether it’s 10 votes, 10,000 votes or not to overturn the election,” she told Fox News. “I think what occurred in these states needs to be investigated.”
The new congresswoman is facing calls for her resignation.
In a statement to NY1, she said won’t turn a blind eye to voting irregularities. She said, “It’s easy and politically expedient for my Democratic colleagues to bully and attempt to silence the only Republican voice our city has in Washington.”
Catsimatidis was among those circulating the debunked notion that far-left Antifa activists were among the Capitol rioters. She told NY1 she wanted to ensure all the evidence was considered so attackers can be brought to justice.
The GOP looks now to spread its influence in the 2021 city elections, its task complicated.
“The Republican Party has become so tarnished on the national level that it has trickled down to the local level,” said Evan Siegfried, a Republican consultant based in New York City. “We’re not able to pull in those swing voters.”
City Council Minority Leader Steve Matteo said Republicans here will remain the party of the middle class.
He added in a statement: “The result of a presidential election does not change the important work we continue to do locally, work that is more important than ever due to the pandemic.”
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