NYC Mayoral Candidates Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa Face Off In Fiery Final Debate
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Election Night is exactly one week away, and the two men hoping to become New York City's next mayor did not hold back in their last debate.
The gloves were off, and constant jabs from Republican Curtis Sliwa had the normally unflappable Democrat Eric Adams throwing some mean right hooks.
As CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, if you believe the polls, Sliwa went into the debate as the decided underdog, so he did what underdogs frequently do -- he tried to chew the leg off his opponent.
"You haven't even met with the police unions, and you're meeting with gang leaders who are responsible for bodies. That means they killed people," Sliwa said.
And so it began, Sliwa's opening salvo, attacking Adams for admitting he met with gang leaders to find a way to stop the gun violence plaguing the city.
"You look in Brooklyn, where Adams is still the borough president, three out of the four of the gang gun cases are not being investigated," Sliwa said
The pair clashed on all kinds of things, from whether kids should get the COVID vaccine to congestion pricing.
And then there was the specter of Bill de Blasio. Sliwa implied that Adams was de Blasio 2.0.
"Your friend, your partner Bill de Blasio, who single-handedly has destroyed this city that we love with your help," Sliwa said.
Sliwa frequently didn't answer the questions and ignored time limits, so much so that it finally got to the normally zen-like Adams.
"You should display a level of discipline. They laid out rules here, and you should try to show that. You're acting like my son when he was 4 years old. Show some discipline so we can get to all of these issues. You're interrupting. You're being disrespectful. Show a level of discipline. You want to be the mayor of the city of New York, start with discipline," Adams said.
"Eric, show compassion, show care. Don't just be a robot. People are going to lose their jobs, their income," Sliwa said.
Adams was asked about frequently dismissing Sliwa as a clown. He didn't retract it.
"Hey, listen, we're not his circus, New Yorkers," Adams said. "He faked a kidnap. He faked a robbery. He faked that he found a gun. He hid money so he would not have to pay child support."
"That is scurrilous that you would say. That is scurrilous that you would say that I hid money. I paid every penny of my child support for my three sons -- Anthony, Carter and Hunter. How dare you bring my family into this. I haven't, I haven't at all brought your family into your problems. Please show some discipline, a modicum of civility. Keep our families out of this," Sliwa said.
After all the acrimony, could they each find it in their hearts to say something nice?
"If the voters determine that Eric Adams should be the mayor of the city of New York, I will give you my total support because we need to save this city from the brink of fiscal collapse and crime," Sliwa said. "If the voters elect me the next mayor, would you give me your full support?"
"Whomever is the mayor of this city or any of the elected official, I am going to be there and show them the necessary support that they deserve. We're in this together, New York," Adams said.
When Adams was asked to say something nice about Sliwa, he praised him for having the compassion to adopt and rescue a house full of cats. Sliwa praised Adams for being a vegan and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
A telling moment was when each was asked to grade de Blasio. Adams gave his fellow Democrat a B+. Sliwa was at first charitable with a D- but quickly changed it to an F.
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