NY governor calls Trump supporters ‘clowns,’ insists state will ‘solidly’ back Biden

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul labeled supporters of former President Donald Trump “clowns” Thursday ahead of thousands attending a South Bronx campaign rally for the former president.

Gov. Hochul, a Democrat, appeared on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper shortly before Trump’s rally. The former president promised voters in the traditionally deep-blue area he will “turn New York City around” if re-elected.

Tapper suggested the rally was an attempt to draw more Black and Latino voter support for Trump, and he asked Gov. Hochul what more Democrats must do to “solidify and mobilize” their base.

Well, I’ll tell you what won’t make a difference at all, Jake, and that is for Donald Trump to be a ringleader and invite all his clowns to a place like the Bronx,” Gov. Hochul said. “New York will never ever support Donald Trump for president.”

“We know him better than anyone, and that means we understand what he’s all about is just for himself,” she continued. “So, this state will go solidly behind Joe Biden for president as it has in the past.”

Recent polling has suggested low voter enthusiasm may present a problem for President Joe Biden in November. A Pew Research Center survey released this week found 77% of Black voters say they would pick Biden over Trump right now, representing a 15% drop from the Black voter support the president received in 2020. Additionally, an April Axios-Ipsos poll determined Trump’s support among Latino adults is growing as Biden’s decreases.

READ MORE | Democratic Party’s popularity plunging among Black, Hispanic adults, poll shows

Gov. Hochul brought up Trump again Thursday when asked whether more needs to be done to address violent crime in New York City. She told Tapper the former president will “unwind” New York’s gun laws if re-elected, thus ensuring “everybody has guns.” The governor went on to tout the Democratic Party’s ability to lower crime rates in New York, pointing to efforts to get “illegal guns off the streets.”

Now yes, there are still crimes, and there’s a sense of anxiety out there that is very real and Democrats acknowledge this,” Gov. Hochul said. “But we’re the ones out there in the trenches doing something about it.”

In March, Gov. Hochul deployed National Guard troops to New York City’s subways amid rampant attacks throughout the system. A 36-year-old man was shot after pulling a gun on another on a subway train just days later, according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Video of the incident shared to social media shows one women screaming ‘”let me out” and passengers running for safety after multiple shots are heard.

READ MORE | NY governor slammed for rejecting retail crime task force while store owners lose billions to theft

A woman at Manhattan’s Fulton Street Station was struck by a subway the same month after her boyfriend pushed her into the oncoming train’s path, according to authorities. The woman allegedly lost both of her feet and the male was arrested on attempted murder and felony assault charges.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced at the end of March the city would begin testing gun scanners to address the surge in violence both on subways and in stations. The mayor also told New Yorkers the city would be hiring medical experts to support expanding its Subway Co-Response Outreach Teams, described as a pilot program connecting people who have untreated severe mental illnesses with appropriate treatment.

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