Former Comptroller Bill Thompson doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with Council Speaker — and 2013 mayoral rival — Christine Quinn when it comes to whether Chick-fil-A restaurants are acceptable in New York City. Over the weekend, Ms. Quinn declared the business “not welcome” in the five boroughs and used official government letterhead urging New York University to give the boot to the city’s one Chick-fil-A restaurant due to the president of the company speaking out and investing in campaigns against gay marriage, but on Inside City Hall last night, Mr. Thompson declined to condemn the company’s existence.
“I’ve been a longtime supporter of marriage equality,” Mr. Thompson prefaced his comments on the issue, adding that he was “offended and disgusted” by the head of Chick-fil-A. “I might go out and help to protest just in the same way as if someone uttered a racist comment. I’d go out and help and picket and protest and bring attention and raise my voice also and say that this is wrong.”
Despite all that, Mr. Thompson said he sides with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who defended the restaurant himself last week, adding, “I guess I agree a bit with the mayor in that.”
However, he wasn’t the only former elected official to defend the fast food chain on Inside City Hall last night.
“It’s ridiculous, and I’m a supporter of Christine,” former Mayor Ed Koch said at another point in the program. “To suggest that you’re not welcome in New York City unless you have a particular political belief, I mean we’re going to become beggared!”
“I welcome Chick-fil-A to the city, let him be here and thrive,” former Governor Eliot Spitzer said, for his part. “Doesn’t mean I’m going to be there at the restaurant. The point of demarcation is that we want them here, the city has every view that’s legal, we want him here. But I will find somewhere else to get my chicken sandwiches.”
However, Mr. Spitzer may have helped their business slightly by praising their mouthwatering menu, saying, “I’m a huge fan of Chick-fil-A. When I go down South, great chicken sandwiches, amazing lemonade, wonderful little outfits.”
The host of the show, Errol Louis, also said, “The chicken’s really, really good,” potentially making a few of his viewers hungry after all this chicken discussion.