NEW YORK — The Republican presidential candidates were surprisingly civil to one another when they addressed the same New York City crowd Thursday night.
Never before in the history of the annual New York State Republican gala had all the primary candidates given remarks at the same event. In fact, all the remaining primary candidates in both parties were in New York City Thursday night. New Yorkers go to the polls April 19 to vote in the state’s primary.
Donald Trump, who received a cordial response from the audience, discussed his past business dealings, which included the Commodore Hotel, 40 Wall St. and Wollman Rink, when he expanded his father’s real estate development business into Manhattan.
Unlike his rallies, Trump stayed away from most of his hot button issues like immigration and trade. Although the New York billionaire did not lob any shots at his nearest competitor in the race, Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore], he did, however, discuss what he believes “New York values” mean to him.
Trump did take a shot at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, saying, “If Jeb Bush came here, he’d have a lot more energy.” He added, “[New Yorkers] make things happen.”
“We see our really incredible New York police and New York fire fighters…and our transit workers,” Trump said, noting that “families playing in Central Park” are also part of New York values to him.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, who was endorsed by former New York Governor George Pataki earlier in the evening, said, “Look at the rising debt. It’s over 19 trillion dollars… When the debt goes up, your chance for a job goes down.”
“I’m the only candidate that can beat Hillary Clinton on a consistent basis,” Kasich said, noting that nominating candidate with high negatives will not only threaten to give the White House to the Democrats but also threaten to give the Senate to the Democrats as well.
Ted Cruz touted his national security policies, reiterating that he would “rip up” the Iranian nuclear deal on his first day in office.
“Our military will no longer be governed by political correctness. We are not coming to interrogate you. We are not coming to read you your rights. We are coming to get you,” Cruz said if he were elected.
Cruz went on saying, “I will make it unequivocally clear to Iran, either they shut down their nuclear program or we will shut it down for them.”
Groups protesting the event and, specifically, Donald Trump, were penned up outside the Grand Hyatt hotel on 42nd. A handful of protesters found their way into the press line prior the start of the event and began to protesting as they unfurled a banner. Law enforcement arrested them immediately removed them from the area.
As Cruz, Trump, and Kasich gave their pitches to the Party, Democrats watched Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders spar at a debate across the river in Brooklyn.