President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to formally announce his endorsement of Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) in the coming GOP primary against Joe Caldarera with the winner facing off against U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) in the Congressional NY-11 district general election.
.@NMalliotakis is running for Congress in NY, I know her well, we need her to defeat Max Rose, who voted for Impeachment! Nicole is Strong on Crime & Borders, #2A, Cutting Taxes, & she Loves our Military & Vets. Nicole has my Complete & Total Endorsement! https://t.co/N0FIGeyjaw
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
This comes after weeks of attacks from both her sole Republican primary opponent, Caldarera, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) who had both accused Malliotakis of lying when she claimed that the President promised his endorsement at a bill signing last month when Trump campaign wouldn’t confirm it.
“At the endorsement the President said he would endorse her and that’s what happened yesterday,” said Rob Ryan, a spokesperson for the Malliotakis campaign.
Rose defeated Republican Dan Donovan (who also carried Trump’s endorsement) last cycle. The district, which includes all of Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn, is a prime target for both parties.
“I am honored by President Trump’s endorsement and his words of support, spoken directly to the American people through his social media,” said Malliotakis in a statement. “I plan to defeat Max Rose and return New York’s 11th Congressional District to commonsense leadership.”
Caldarera, a 27-year old prosecutor who DCCC implied to be a legitimate primary challenger following the endorsement controversy, said the endorsement doesn’t alter his criticism of Malliotakis.
“While I’m disappointed, it doesn’t change the fact that she is pro-choice, voted for the safe act and higher taxes and spending and is against the President’s efforts to secure our border,” said Caldarera. “The economy is booming because of President Trump, despite the Albany creatures like Nicole Malliotakis doing everything they can to stop him at every turn. I am the only real conservative in this race and I look forward to debating the Assemblywoman on the issues and her liberal voting record over the course of the next four months.”
Somewhat oddly, Rose is using similar arguments. “Mr President, you probably should have done a bit more research. She hates you, your wall, and everything you’ve done,” Rose tweeted Trump.
Mr President –
You probably should have done a bit more research. She hates you, your wall, and everything you’ve done 😱 https://t.co/x3r76m5YJ0
— Max Rose (@MaxRose4NY) February 12, 2020
On the same day as the endorsement was tweeted out, Rose’s campaign also took out television ads showing Malliotakis criticizing Trump.
The campaign booked the ad on Fox and Friends to run in both New York and Washington, DC. The goal being to reach the President’s mind.
“Now that she’s no longer trying to win votes in Manhattan, she’s pretending that she never supported sanctuary cities, opposed the border wall, and wished Donald Trump didn’t become President,” said Rose in a statement, referring to Malliotakis’ run for Mayor in 2017. “I’m not going to let anyone get away with lying to my constituents and I think it’s important for even the President of the United States to know that Nicole is a card-carrying member of the swamp.”
“I wouldn’t look at this ad as a Max versus Nicole ad, I would look at it as a Nicole versus Nicole ad,” said a member of Rose’s campaign, explaining the ad’s goal was to point out hypocrisy and flip-flopping on issues. “Airing it on Fox and Friends in Washington, DC is obviously a way to make sure the President sees something.”
To which Ryan retorted that it’s become obvious that Rose is desperate and will say or do anything to get reelected. “Assemblywoman Nicole Maliotakis supports President Trump and the President supports Nicole Malliotakis and she will defeat Max Rose in November,” said Ryan.
The Republican primary is slated for June 23 and the general election is on Nov. 3.