Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta endorsed State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s bid to unseat Congressman Charlie Rangel yesterday, and in an interview on The Perez Notes, Mr. Rangel’s campaign manager Moises Perez fought back.
“As far as I know, Oscar de la Renta does not vote in this district,” Mr. Perez began when asked about the leading fashion icon. “The day you have a tornado in Washington Heights is the day you might find Oscar de la Renta, quite frankly. I do not think he will have any major impact whatsoever.”
Mr. Perez proceeded to make the case that Mr. de la Renta’s wealth could place him at odds with Mr. Espaillat’s candidacy, which is also backed by the Occupy Wall Street-supporting Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.
“What I do think is that it’s probably created a problem in the Espaillat campaign, because, after all, Espaillat’s chief promoter is Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who is a poster child for Occupy Wall Street,” Mr. Perez contended, adding that Mr. de la Renta is “the poster child, if you want to put it that way, of the 1%.”
“I’m sure they had heated discussions about this endorsement at the very least,” he added of Mr. Espaillat’s campaign. “You’ve got now the poster child of the 1% supporting the poster child of the 99%, that’s interesting.”
(At the very least, it would seem to add up to 100%.)
Reached for comment, Mr. Rodriguez referenced other celebrities who supported Occupy Wall Street and said he was “overjoyed Mr. de la Renta identifies with the progressive leadership offered by Senator Espaillat.”
“Prosperous people like Russell Simmons, Ben & Jerry and Kanye West have all come out to support Occupy Wall Street, and they’ve been welcomed with open arms,” he said in the statement. “I’d hate to think that Congressman Rangel’s campaign is suggesting that people with means should be punished for having progressive politics.”
Watch Mr. Perez’s interview below: