A Republican politician vying for a congressional seat in New York is hoping President Trump’s supporters have a short memory.
New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is opposed to many of Trump’s policies, including the border wall, and even said she regretted voting for him. But in her current primary race for a congressional seat, the former mayoral candidate is suddenly seeking the support of the president’s base.
The Republican Assemblywoman, the daughter of Cuban and Greek immigrants, was first elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and represents a district that Trump carried by nearly 10 percentage points in 2016. She lost a mayoral challenge to New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio in 2017 and is now running for the seat held by freshman Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat.
Facing off against Malliotakis is the unusual Republican candidate Joey Saladino, a pro-Trump YouTube star with millions of social media followers.
Malliotakis has been ramping up her pro-Trump rhetoric since launching her congressional campaign, defending the president’s decisions and touting his accomplishments.
…President Trump has offered an olive branch and now it’s up to Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer and the Democrats in Congress to stop placating the most radical members of their party and negotiate in good faith to achieve the best deal on behalf of the American people…
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) February 6, 2019
Can’t dispute with facts: @BarackObama got one hostage released in exchange for 5 Taliban leaders. @realDonaldTrump is getting 3 hostages back and is releasing 0 terrorists.
Who really knows the art of the deal?
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) May 10, 2018
Yesterday’s #NYC subway meltdown is just another reason why we need a Congress that will work with President @realDonaldTrump. Instead of passing resolutions condemning our President, Max & Company should be working with him to deliver critical infrastructure funding for our city
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) July 20, 2019
She even celebrated his recent surprise visit to a wedding going on in his New Jersey golf resort.
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) July 22, 2019
But not too long ago, Malliotakis was singing from a different soundtrack.
During her race against de Blasio, Malliotakis revealed that she wished she could have changed her 2016 vote.
“I’d write in Marco Rubio…I’d write in Marco Rubio so that I could tell you I voted Marco Rubio,” Malliotakis told the Daily News about
She reiterated that “Marco was my choice” in an interview with Spectrum News NY1, as seen in a video posted by former Republican New York congressman, Michael Grimm.
A few pointers on Nicole Malliotakis’ run for #NY11:
1) She’s anti-Trump. It’s not even up for debate. She “regrets voting for him”, wishes Rubio were POTUS, couldn’t name a single thing @realDonaldTrump has done well. I’m not even exaggerating. It’s all on record. Next… pic.twitter.com/tngTbTfTuc
— Michael Grimm (@MichaelGrimmNY) January 25, 2019
Asked what was Trump doing well in that 2017 interview, the then-mayoral candidate said, “I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you.”
She also slammed Trump’s policies during a heated exchange with de Blasio in the 2017 New York City mayoral debate.
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) October 11, 2017
And while she regretted her own vote for Trump in 2016, she hoped to get an endorsement from him the following year when she ran for mayor. Trump, who was registered to vote in New York City, did not oblige.
She has disagreed with the president on issues such as the ban on transgender service members, plans to suspend DACA, efforts to build a border wall and his travel ban. But, facing a staunch and very vocal pro-Trump opponent has shifted the candidate’s perspective.
YouTube star Saladino, known as “Joey Salads,” has had no hesitation touting his apparent lifetime support of Trump, recently tweeting that he has been “MAGA since day one.”
Got this from Trump when I was born,
I was MAGA since day one. pic.twitter.com/sziooUiW0i
— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) July 8, 2019
The controversial internet star is a Staten Island native who has taken aim at the current leadership in New York.
I am running for congress because NYC Republicans, especially Staten Islanders, are totally ignored by the current NYC leadership.
They constantly act against our best interests
I will use my platform of 10+Million followers & 1B yearly views to make sure we are #ForgottenNoMore
— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) May 24, 2019
Unlike his opponent, Saladino is very much on board with Trump’s agenda.
BUILD THE WALL!
— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) July 27, 2019
And it seems he is using his sense of humor in a way that has Malliotakis doing a strong backpedal on her comments.
I show up at the US/Mexico border and Minutes later the Supreme Court allows President Trump to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds to build part of border wall.
I am a good luck charm, wait till I am in Congress.#SaladinoForCongress #BuildTheWall #ForgottenNoMore pic.twitter.com/ee1ioYQHwU
— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) July 27, 2019
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