Representative Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, was caught on a hot mic Tuesday begging to speak about vandalism in New York City, stating “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”
According to the New York Times, Engel was determined to get event organizer Ruben Diaz Jr. to add him to a list of politicians already scheduled to speak at the event.
Diaz, however, said there was no room.
“I cannot have all the electeds talk because we will never get out of here,” Diaz explained.
“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel replied.
When asked to repeat himself, the Democrat again stated: “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”
Diaz responds, “Don’t do that to me.”
— Emily Ngo (@emilyngo) June 2, 2020
President Trump on Tuesday slammed leaders in New York for being unable to handle riots, describing New York City as being “ripped to pieces.”
“New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all other forms of Lowlife [and] Scum,” he tweeted.
You’d think that would be reason enough to want to speak to your constituents about the riots. But Engel simply views it as a means to get re-elected.
One can almost guarantee his opponents are clipping those nine words as we speak into a political ad.
The sixteen-term Democrat attempted to explain his comments in a statement following the event.
“In the context of running for re-election, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that’s why I asked to speak,” he claimed. “Of course I care deeply about what’s happening in this country, that’s what I wanted to convey.”
He literally said he “wouldn’t care” if not for his tough primary.
Engel has been in congress since I was 7. Time to do something else, dude.
— Ken Bone (@kenbone18) June 2, 2020
The Republican National Committee blasted Engel for his out-of-touch hot mic moment.
Rapid Response Director Steve Guest issued a statement saying: “Every Democrat must condemn Rep. Engel’s sickening, self-serving, and short-sided view.”
Jamaal Bowman, a primary challenger to the entrenched Democrat, said Engel’s comments were “disgusting, it’s abhorrent, it’s unfortunate, and it’s disappointing, but it’s not surprising.”
Engel’s appearance in the area is a surprise in and of itself, considering he has been widely ridiculed for fleeing his district for Washington, D.C. during the coronavirus outbreak.