Wednesday night’s debate between the two Republican candidates for mayor saw them call each other a criminal and a wannabe phony, among other things. Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, and Fernando Mateo, a businessman and taxi driver advocate, were so vitriolic that NY1 debate moderator Errol Louis had to continually break up the fight.
The New York Post reported on the war of words:
Sliwa then hit at Mateo for blaming law enforcement for the closure of his restaurant on the Hudson River waterfront, La Marina, which filed for bankruptcy in 2019 over massive debt — and following the drug arrest of a manager.
“You were running a criminal enterprise,” Sliwa charged. “All of the sudden you discover you have love for the police.”
In his own opening statement, Sliwa pledged to investigate the city’s embattled $1.25 billion mental-health group ThriveNYC. He also touted his plan to add more cops to the transit system, saying “I will crack down on crime that is paralyzing our city.”
During a segment on policing, Sliwa snapped that Mateo “hasn’t ridden the subway” and wouldn’t know how to solve mayhem in the city’s transit system.
“Curtis is a comedian he’s a wannabe actor, he’s a wannabe phony actor who’s lied his entire career to get attention,” Mateo lashed back.
“You should be a train conductor,” Mateo quipped, after Sliwa touted his efforts to deal with subway crime, adding that “It’s not my fault that I can afford to take a cab.”