Brooklyn Dems, Bill Clinton rally for Hochul in Downtown Brooklyn
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The margin is so slim, the entire race between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Lee Zeldin could come down to how many people vote in Brooklyn, former President Bill Clinton said at a high-energy rally for Hochul at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday.
Hundreds of Hochul supporters, many of them union members from the SEIU and the Hotel Trades Council, filled the warehouse-size space inside the mall.
The Brooklyn Democratic Party has been criticized for not doing enough to get out the vote. But on Saturday, Brooklyn was in the house. Speakers at the rally included Brooklyn native Rosie Perez and a slew of officials: Sen. Chuck Schumer, Attorney General Letitia James, Mayor Eric Adams, Rep. Yvette Clark and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
Headlining the rally was former President Bill Clinton. “What do the Republicans want? They want you to be scared and they want you to be mad,” Clinton said. “The last thing they want you to do is think.”
Clinton fact-checked Republican claims about inflation and crime.
“They act like inflation is only in America,” Clinton said. “But just two days ago we saw the inflation rates in Europe is about 30 percent higher than it is in the United States. It’s everywhere because of Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine, because Iran and Saudi Arabia and the rest of those folks at OPEC are trying to help him by trying to cut production, and because of the supply chain delays, mostly because of computer chips. Which are made mostly in China.”
On the subject of crime, Clinton said, “Lee Zeldin makes it sound like Kathy Hochul gets up every morning, goes to the nearest subway stop and hands out billy clubs and baseball bats.”
Clinton said that Zeldin voted against the Infrastructure bill and the CHIPS bill, and was an election denier. “When there was no credible evidence that any state had been dishonest or inaccurate. On issue after issue he took the most extreme stance,” Clinton said.
As Hochul entered the stage, the crowd cheered, “Kathy! Kathy!”
Republican extremists “seek to destroy our democracy, to destroy our voting rights, destroy all the rights we fought for, for so long,” Hochul said. “It’s also a fight against complacency.”
“We all should be scared. That’s how we are going to win,” Hochul said. “Because we overcome fear with our vote … If we march together, we have a coalition that’s unstoppable.”
Full court press by Brooklyn Dems
Sen. Schumer was accompanied by his daughter and new granddaughter Eleanor — named after Elanor Roosevelt. “This is her first rally,” he boasted. Referring to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision denying women in many states the right to an abortion, Schumer said, “I don’t want my granddaughter to grow up with less rights than her mother did.”
Schumer told of working with Hochul to release $350 billion in Covid relief funds to New York State. “Kathy helped us fight for that funding. Lee Zeldin, meanwhile, voted no. We passed the child tax credit, cut childhood poverty in half during that year. Lee Zeldin voted no. We put $15 billion into the subways to keep them going. They would have collapsed. Lee Zeldin voted no. And helping all the union people — we saved your healthcare plan; Lee Zeldin voted no. We saved your hospital jobs by helping our hospitals; Lee Zeldin voted no. We saved the state and local jobs by giving money to localities; Lee Zeldin voted no.” After each “no,” the crowd let out a chorus of boos.
Actress Rosie Perez, wearing a broad-brimmed hat, said, “What we’re seeing across this nation is deeply concerning … The manipulation through lies and fear mongering is not only cruel, but it injects poison into the very foundation of democracy itself.”
“I was in the Capitol on January 6,” said Rep. Clarke. “The pain, the anguish, the fear, the wickedness, the cruelty that was unleashed that day. You only witnessed a fraction of what we experienced. And that political violence continues today.”
“When people say democracy is on the ballot, what they really mean is truth is on the ballot,” said Rep. Jeffries. “Freedom is on the ballot … but how do you get freedom?”
“Vote!” the crowd replied.
Mayor Adams said Hochul had worked with him to help the city, unlike the previous governor. “We removed thousands of guns from our streets because of what Kathy Hochul was able to do,” he said. “This is the moment we were waiting for. We have a governor who’s authentic and real. She’s one of us. Kathy Hochul is the right woman for the job.
“Stay disciplined, stay focused, and grind,” Adams chanted, and the crowd chanted it with him.
Other speakers at the rally included Attorney General Letitia James, Lieutenant Gov. Antonio Delgato, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs.
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