Earlier this afternoon, Charles Barron held what may have been the second press event of his congressional campaign to embrace the endorsement of DC 37, the largest public employees union in the city. And Mr. Barron could not have been more different today in terms of tone and messaging than in the only other public campaign event we’re aware of: his campaign launch last November.
“I don’t care what they say, I’m still not saluting the flag!” he buoyantly exclaimed back then for what he’d do when in office. “I’m not going to be afraid — y’all can write this one down, y’all going to like this one — I’m not going to be afraid speak out against Israel and what they’re doing to the Palestinian people. We’re going to tell it like it is!”
“They told me when I get up here, don’t say nothing about foreign policy Charles, because they’re going to use it against you,” he continued. “Use it! Because we also going to stand up for Robert Mugabe, who’s an African hero. Taking land back from white people who stole the land from us in the first place!”
At today’s event, however, he kept his messaging much more subdued, with the sort of rhetoric you’d hear from a lot of New York City Democrats at labor rallies. Instead of calling members of the Congressional Black Caucus “political punks” unafraid to stand up to “right-wing racist conservatives,” the most controversial thing Mr. Barron said today was against the “crooks on Wall Street.” He proceeded to call for less money to be spent on wars so that more money can be sent on schools and seniors.
“I’ve been all throughout my district and the people who are interested in things, they’re talking about jobs, they’re talking about quality education, they’re talking about health care,” he told us when we inquired about the shift in tone from his campaign launch. “So those are the things people are interested in and I’m going to talk about those things.”
“The media is probably more interested in foreign policy than the people in the districts that we will be representing,” he added.
Watch today’s event below and his campaign launch beneath that: