Congressman Michael Grimm is not a fan of his Democratic opponent, Councilman Domenic Recchia.
Indeed, in a blistering, 5-paragraph statement tearing into Mr. Recchia, the Staten Island Republican called Mr. Recchia a “pathetic political hack,” “complete empty suit” and “another hypocritical, career politician … void of an original thought.”
Mr. Grimm’s fury came in response to a New York Post report in which an organizer accused the pol of withholding support for a bill because he wasn’t invited to a press conference. In his statement today, the congressman said he simply didn’t support the legislation, which would protect the 9/11 victims’ compensation funds from sequestration cuts.
“From day one I said sequester should be avoided and that I would work with the President to replace [sequestration] with more prudent policy and I am still committed to that end,” Mr. Grimm stated. “However, my opponent has shown his true colors as a pathetic political hack and has crossed the line!”
For his part, Mr. Recchia also didn’t mince words, calling Mr. Grimm’s position “self-aggrandizing, petty politics at its worst.”
“First, Grimm punished our first responders by supporting the sequestration. And, now, when given the chance to make things right, Grimm’s punishing these heroes once again,” Mr. Recchia said yesterday. “This time though he’s making them suffer because he didn’t get his 15 minutes of fame. It’s ridiculous.”
Mr. Recchia added, “As a congressman, I will never forget the sacrifice those men and women made for us and I certainly won’t abandon them because an invitation got lost in the mail.”
Needless to say, the back-and-forth is quite heated for an election that won’t occur until November, 2014.
Update (2:19 p.m.): A Recchia spokeswoman dismissed the incumbent’s remarks.
“Michael Grimm’s hyper-defensiveness on this issue is well-warranted given how out-of-touch he seems to be with the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn,” she said. “By doubling-down on not supporting New York’s first-responders, he’s demonstrated his true colors and values. What’s more, he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too when it comes to sequestration. If he didn’t support it, then he shouldn’t have voted for it.”
Read Mr. Grimm’s full reaction below:
“It is amazing that stories can be written without any regard for the facts; there is only one reason I haven’t cosponsored the legislation and that is because it would be poor policy to pick winners and losers from a list that shouldn’t have any losers. When it comes to funding for 9/11 health, Sandy relief, our troops in harm’s way, or Medicare for our seniors; how can we pick one over the other to exempt from these cuts?
“From day one I said sequester should be avoided and that I would work with the President to replace it with more prudent policy and I am still committed to that end. However, my opponent has shown his true colors as a pathetic political hack and has crossed the line!”
“As a 9/11 first responder, and the godfather to children that lost their godmother in this horrific attack, I am personally offended by the use of 9/11 for petty, political gain.
“If my opponent wasn’t a complete empty suit and utter hypocrite he would be calling on the President and AG Holder to come clean with the American people on the deaths of US officials in Benghazi, the death of a border agent in Fast and Furious, and the growing IRS scandal.
“The people of Staten Island and Brooklyn need a leader that is driven towards solutions, not another hypocritical, career politician that is so void of an original thought, that he’ll stoop to exploiting a tragedy like 9/11 to get attention.”