Syracuse's mayor has been feeling some heat over comments she made about the Republican Party. But Stephanie Miner is not backtracking from those remarks. As YNN's Bill Carey reports, the mayor says attacks on her statement are simply an attempt to distract voters from her message.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The video has finally emerged of a speech that touched off a firestorm of local GOP reaction: Syracuse's mayor on the attack against the policies of the Republican Party.
“They are a party of hatred that wraps up their hatred in clever, 30 second sound bites,” Mayor Miner had said.
When the quote emerged, the local republican leader demanded that Miner re-asses her dual role as state party co-chair and mayor.
“She needs to figure out if she is going to be a party leader for the state of New York, for the democrat party, or if she is going to be the mayor of the City of Syracuse, which she was elected to do, and fulfill a four year term. She can't do both,” said Thomas Dadey, Onondaga County Republican Chairman.
Miner says Dadey is simply trying to distract from legitimate questions raised about issues during a speech that lasted close to a half an hour.
Miner said, “Why don't they talk about how the fact that the congresswoman doesn't believe in global warming? How that impacts our economic development. Why don’t they talk about the fact that republicans have not been supporting student loans and how that impacts middle class families? Why don't they talk about the fact that their party wants to voucher-ize Medicare and how that would impact senior citizens? They don't talk about it because they know it's losing issues, so they're trying to distract by talking about other things other than substance.”
Miner dismisses talk of stepping aside from either of her jobs. She says the republicans she works with understand her passion.
The mayor spent part of the day at Syracuse University's Maxwell School, invited to speak to a class by its professor, former republican County Executive Nick Pirro.
“This is our political system. You can't be above politics and govern effectively. And so everybody knows that I'm a democrat and this is the time, between Labor Day and Election Day, that we talk about these issues,” Miner said.
But there are key republican partners for the city leader who wish her vocabulary would change.
“To me, the remarks were very disappointing and surprising, quite frankly. Because whenever you paint a broad brush on any group, I don't care what the group is, you're not doing justice to those who are doing the right thing,” State Senator John DeFrancisco said.
The mayor gives little indication of any changes coming before Election Day.