Comptroller John Liu, currently fending off allegations against his campaign fundraising, held a big rally in the A.M.E. Zion Church in Harlem last night where supporters from the sizable crowd constantly chanted, “Keep going John!”
And even though the invitation for the event explicitly stated, “This rally is not related to the Liu’s campaign,” the event was unmistakably a campaign rally as clergyman after clergyman passionately spoke on Mr. Liu’s behalf and urged him to run for mayor in 2013.
“Go John go! Go John go!” one of pastors, Reverend Williams of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, declared. “About two weeks ago I was with John and I told John, ‘There are haters. There are haters that want to stop us from being history makers.’ … I pulled him aside and said, ‘Make history. Do what you got to do. Do what you got to do to become the next Mayor of New York City!'”
Although the two elected officials in attendance, City Councilwomen — and candidates for Speaker in 2013 — Melissa Mark-Viverito and Inez Dickens, defended Mr. Liu and his record, they didn’t directly urge him to run for higher office. Mr. Liu, however, addressed the mayoral race in his own speech, stopping just short of openly declaring he would run.
“There’s going to be a big election next year, 2013, and I’m prepared for this election, whatever the choices are,” he said. “And I’m proud of the fundraising that my team and I have done, we’re proud of it, and yet there are allegations … that remain completely unproven to this point.”
He proceeded to note that he has a new his new nickname of “Embattled Comptroller” in the news media and turned it into a rally cry by announcing, “Let me say this: I am ready, willing and able to go into battle for what I think is right to save our New York!”
“I am going to keep going!” he added later, embracing the crowd’s chants. He further said he would “go all the way,” leaving it up for the audience to decipher what that indeed means.
Watch the entire affair below, which has a few of the pastors’ speeches edited out for brevity: