Sliwa, who essentially bootstrapped the anti-crime organization from the ground up in 1979 in response to an uptick in subway crime under Mayor Edward I. Koch, said he will take his tough-on-crime reputation to city hall if given the opportunity.
Earlier this week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said during a Zoom session with fellow liberal Bronx Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman that public concerns about an urban crime wave are “hysteria.”
During the interview, Sliwa pointed to Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive politics and de Blasio’s policies, which have included support for cutting the NYPD budget in 2020, telling host Sean Hannity that he decided to run for mayor because crime prevention has always been his top priority.
“AOC-All-Out-Crazy by the way has armed security officers with her at all times like the rest of her Democrat Socialists of America,” said Sliwa.
“The justice warriors, who are sanctimonious hypocrites, would deny public safety to average people by defunding the police, by not wanting prisons and by putting handcuffs on the police instead of the criminals. So I decided to run because I’ve always been battling crime, I never surrender, I never retreat.”
Sliwa, 67, a native of Canarsie Brooklyn, said that any increase in crime is unacceptable but that New York is particularly out of control.
“You remember last summer when the rioters and looters and shooters took over the city streets as “Comrade” de Blasio told the police officers to stand back, I was out there [with the Guardian Angels] battling them: no property, no product, and we knew [protesters] would be attacking people and they continue to do it as such,” he said, recalling protests and riots that struck in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
In June 2020, Sliwa recounted to Fox News how the Angels worked to repel looters in SoHo after spending much of their time previously in nearby Chinatown trying to prevent anti-Asian hate crimes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am the only candidate with the onions to take back the city,” he notably told the New York Post at the time.
Sliwa told Hannity that more NYPD officers are needed, and suggested the police deserve a boost in morale. One of the reasons he attributed the decline to was the recission of qualified immunity for officers in some urban areas – meaning they are personally liable for any civil suits that may arise from an interaction with a civilian.
“The big problem we have here is we not only need more police and need to refund the police but there is an issue that affects police all over the country, qualified immunity. It is being taken from them,” he said.
These are the protections that we give all civil servants, it’s been taken from police in city after city.
Sliwa said that, if elected, he would model his crime-fighting endeavors after that of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who ran as a law-and-order candidate following the last major crime spike under Mayor David Dinkins that peaked around 1990.
Sending a message to the NYPD and other law enforcement, Sliwa said Monday that he has their back and wants them to do their job in “providing us with safe streets, save subways, safe parks — the ones that Rudy Giuliani gave us in 1993.”
He said the former mayor-turned-Trump-attorney supports his candidacy as well.
Republican candidates in New York City have faced an uphill climb in recent elections, as only 3 of the 51 seats on the city council are held by Republicans – two from Staten Island and one from Howard Beach, Queens – and the city has a Democratic registration advantage of about 6-to-1.
Giuliani was the last mayor to serve as a Republican for his full term, while his immediate successor Michael Bloomberg was a Republican at first but later changed party affiliation.