De Blasio: House Should Sanction Grimm (Updated)
Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Wednesday that Republican leadership in the House of Representatives should “absolutely” take steps to sanction Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm for the threats made to Time Warner Cable News reporter Michael Scotto.
Grimm called Scotto earlier on Wednesday to apologize after threatening to throw the reporter off a balcony in the Capitol rotunda following a question about the arrest of the lawmaker’s campaign fundraisers this month.
Scotto said he accepted Grimm’s apology.
But de Blasio told reporters that Grimm’s reaction was “absolutely inappropriate.”
“We’re going to have moments, between all of us in public life and all of you who do your job, where we have disagreements or tensions,” de Blasio said according to a transcript of the question-and-answer session released by his office. “But it’s absolutely inappropriate for it to be expressed in that manner. There has to be mutual respect even when your questions are tough, your job is to ask tough questions. But to physically threaten someone? That’s something that no public servant should do. And I think he owes Mr. Scotto an apology.”
Asked if the GOP leadership in the House should sanction or censure Grimm for the incident, de Blasio said “absolutely.”
“You don’t threaten reporters physically. It was a physical threat. It’s unacceptable,” de Blasio said. “And look, I think all of us who go into public life accept a higher set of standards, by definition. And I think that – think about it from the point of view, we always have to ask the question, ‘What does it say to our constituents? What does it say to the people? What does it say to our young people?’ A leader can’t do that. It’s just absolutely unacceptable, and if the leader does that, those in power or those in the leadership structure have to speak out. So I would hope that the House leadership says very strongly that this is unacceptable behavior.”
Update: In a statement, Speaker John Boehner’s office said Grimm’s apology was sufficient.
“Rep. Grimm has apologized, and the Speaker believes that was appropriate.”
Updated X2: Grimm’s office has released a second statement to say he was “wrong” for making the threats to Scotto. It’s a complete 180 from the defiant tone he took in a statement following the incident.
“I was wrong. I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool,” Grimm said. “I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon. In the weeks and months ahead I’ll be working hard for my constituents on issues like flood insurance that is so desperately needed in my district post Sandy.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 29, 2014 at 11:56 am, and is filed under Bill de Blasio. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|