Endorsed by President Trump in a district he carried by ten points in 2016, State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican nominee for New York’s 11th congressional district, is running against incumbent Democrat Max Rose in a race that the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) termed a top offensive target for 2020. She spoke with Breitbart News to discuss the upcoming election.
Malliotakis described the ultimate direction of the country as the prime consequence of the election.
“I think first and foremost, it’s what direction is this nation going in,” she said. “Are we going to continue to be a country that offers the American dream, its limitless potential and opportunity, or are we going to move down the path of socialism?”
Noting her background as the daughter of a Cuban refugee, Malliotakis expressed concern for the Democratic Party’s embracing of socialist policies, which served as an impetus for her to run.
“Millions of immigrants come from around the world to escape many of the very policies that many Democrats of today are trying to push on our nation to try and change it fundamentally,” she said. “I don’t want to see that happen in this country, so that is what really motivated me to get in the race.”
Speaking of the relatively recent radical shift in New York City, Malliotakis decried the city’s lack of a Republican voice.
“Since I first entered the race almost two years ago, we have seen a radical shift here in New York City to the left,” she said. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took office and she has been leading the congressional delegation more and more to the left; our city doesn’t have a Republican voice in Washington and we desperately need one.”
Malliotakis also emphasized the high stakes involved in this election.
“There are 40 seats that are held by the Democrats that President Trump won in 2016 and this is one of them. We have to win 17 of them to take back the House of Representatives, so there’s a dedicated effort to do that,” she said. “I have faith that people truly understand what’s at stake in this election: restoring law and order, preserving the American dream, stopping socialism and making sure that we have pro-growth and pro-jobs policies that create employment opportunities and will restore the jobs lost during the pandemic.”
“Moderate” Max Rose
Asked about her opponent Max Rose portraying himself as a moderate Democrat serving as an effective moderating influence over the party, Malliotakis was not convinced.
“He’s not a moderate,” she stated. “He tries to act like he is a moderate on the campaign trail but then goes to Washington and votes 97% of the time with Pelosi; he marches with the defund the police crowd; he voted with the squad to impeach our president; and he supports policies that have made us less safe. It’s all a show.”
Although Rose voted against Pelosi for the House Speakership, Malliotakis sees nothing but hypocrisy.
“He says one thing in the district and then does something else in Washington and the people have caught on,” said Malliotakis. “He said he wasn’t going to take special interest money and then he took over half a million dollars of it; he said he supports the police and then he goes and marches with the ‘defund the police’ crowd and votes to revoke their funding.”
Malliotakis also noted the responsibility that citizens have to verify how representatives have voted on various issues.
“People need to see how their elected officials vote,” she said. “They can say whatever they want on the campaign trail, but it’s important to see what they are doing once they get the job, and Max has consistently voted against the values of this district, and that is why we are fighting to win this seat.”
Black Lives Matter
Asked about the Black Lives Matter movement, Malliotakis sought to distinguish between fighting racism and supporting lawlessness.
“We should be making a differentiation between ending racism, which I think Americans want, and anarchy and defunding the police and abolishing I.C.E. and all these radical movements that want to fundamentally change our nation and make us less safe,” she said.
Malliotakis also noted how her opponent supported such drives, even marching with them.
“I believe that everyone supports the goal of eliminating racism in our country, but there are a lot of other things happening with the movement. For example, when Max marched with the ‘defund the police’ crowd, they were holding really derogatory signs towards our police,” she said. “He was the only elected local official to do so.”
“This community has a lot of cops, firefighters, and veterans, and people were really upset with him because it was really insulting,” she added.
Following the march, Rose took to twitter stating:
Staten Island’s youth are leading an incredibly powerful, peaceful movement for justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many Black lives that have been lost due to senseless acts of violence.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, supporting Malliotakis’s bid to retake the long-held GOP seat, has been airing ads highlighting the issue throughout the district.
Malliotakis has received endorsements from numerous Jewish papers, including the Jewish Voice and the popular Orthodox Jewish weekly, The Jewish Press, along with other New York Jewish groups and figures, including longtime Democrat Assemblyman and Jewish community activist, Dov Hikind, who called her a “superstar” while warning that Rose “has not stood up to the anti-Semitism that permeates his party.”
An area with a high concentration of Orthdox Jewish voters, Malliotakis and the Republican Party are hoping to reclaim a seat that has traditionally been held by Republicans and will bring Republicans one seat closer to regaining a majority in the House.
“It is the first time we have people who are socialist or anti-Semitic within the House of Representatives, including individuals like Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, so we need people that are really going to speak out against what they are doing, and that is why this is really a package deal,” Malliotakis said.
“A vote for Max is a vote to keep Nancy Pelosi as speaker, it’s a vote to keep Ilhan Omar the majority on the Foreign Affairs Committee, it’s a vote to keep three out of the four socialist squad members on the Financial Services Committee,” she warned. “These are people who’ve actually publicly said they want to dismantle the U.S. economy and destroy capitalism, and it is very dangerous.”
Malliotakis also noted that Rose, though quick to call out Ilhan Omar following anti-Semitic tweets suggesting GOP support for Israel is driven by campaign donations from the prominent pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in February of 2019, was — shortly thereafter — back at putting his party loyalties ahead of doing what’s right, calling the ultra-liberal Omar his “friend” with whom he “shares values.”
In response, Omar tweeted her appreciation for Rose, along with a clip in which Rose told reporters, “She’s a friend. I take her at her word,” adding, “We share great values. She wants to see a great country, and I look forward to working with her.”
Asked if she sees an effort by the governor and mayor under the guise of fighting the coronavirus to be singling out Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, Malliotakis made no bones.
“I think that we’re seeing various actions by the mayor and the governor against the Jewish community, including arbitrary mandates like limiting the size of prayer services and inconsistent enforcement of Covid-19 regulations,” she said. “The Orthodox community sees a double standard and its members feel like they are being singled out, which they are very upset about — and rightfully so.”
Addressing what she believes is one of the causes of the recent increase in hate crimes against the Jewish community, Malliotakis blamed laws and policies which do little to deter crime.
“We had these bail laws that took acts like committing hate crimes and granted perpetrators automatic release, which created a lawless environment,” she said. “We fought back in the State Assembly and amended the law which now allows the judge to use discretion in these matters, though more needs to be done.”
Mallitokos also described education as paramount in preventing the repetition of the tragic missteps of the past.
“I think the most important thing we need to do is educate young people about our history, about the history of the world, because when you read frightening statistics with the majority of millennials not knowing about the Holocaust and are not familiar with socialism or communism, that’s scary,” she said. ”And that is something I would be focusing on as part of education curriculum.”
Malliotakis has received endorsements from virtually all of New York’s police and law enforcement associations in a district where many residents are active or retired members of the police force, firefighters, and the military.
Addressing the growing crime in New York City, she lamented the recent spike.
“People want to feel safe here in New York City,” she said. “We feel that there has been this lawlessness that we have seen. Shootings have skyrocketed, burglaries have skyrocketed, car thefts have skyrocketed.”
“It is going back to the 1980s and it’s not a place that I want to go. We have made so much progress in this city in terms of quality of life, why would we want to go back?”
Malliotakis also addressed various harmful policies that have been adopted, including “the disastrous bail reform that released at least three thousand people that have now committed 9000 additional crimes.”
“We see the mayors push to close Rikers Island and build new jails in communities and then we saw the city’s council cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget so all of this has a tremendous impact on public safety in our communities which has become a paramount issue in this campaign,” she said
“The NYPD feels abandoned by the governor and mayor, and as a result we’re seeing skyrocketing numbers of police officers retiring from the force,” said Malliotakis. “My district has many active and retired law enforcement officials and I will always be a voice that will have their backs.”
Describing the left’s efforts against “our nation’s true friend and ally” Israel, Malliotakis illustrated her suitability to push back.
“Here, locally, the democratic socialists are circulating questionnaires asking candidates for commitments not to visit Israel and to join the anti-Israel BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement, it’s becoming very radical and that is why New York City needs to have a two party system and why we need somebody like me who’s going to push back especially in Alexandria Ocasio Cortez‘s backyard,” she said.
Malliotakis also showered praise on President Trump’s “unprecedented progress” in the Middle East.
“Look at the unprecedented progress the president has made with his peace deals between Israel and Arab states, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem while recognizing it as Israel’s capital, and combating anti-Semitism in the country,” she said. “I was in Israel last July speaking with the citizens there and for the first time they were worried that the US is wavering in their support for Israel due to vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric by members of Congress and we can’t allow that to happen; that’s why people like Ilhan Omar can’t be the majority in the House of Representatives.”
The first-term Democrat Rose trails Republican Nicole Malliotakis 48 percent to 46 percent among likely voters
In the hotly contested race and one of the most closely watched in the country, and with New York in turmoil, a local economy in free fall, soaring crime rates and Democratic Socialists on the rise, voters have the power to change all that.
“That is why we are going to win this seat back,” Mallitkos concluded.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.