Rose, a five-and-a-half-foot bald Army veteran, represents a Trump-loving, top-heavy district. And with some of his party’s loudest voices staggering to the left, his reelection prospects might depend on how well he can avoid being tied to the national party by sheer personality and lots of F-bombs.
“The party has to stand for something, it has to stand for something, it has to be known for something,” he said in an interview last weekend. “You have to trust, not just something that people turn to when they reject something else, which – for my whole life, my whole life – is what it was.”
The 11th borough of New York, which includes the culturally conservative Staten Island and part of southern Brooklyn, is in the heart of All national forces participating in the 2020 elections. It has been badly hit by the pandemic and the inability of Congress to secure another aid package, and it is full of electricity and energy retired law enforcement officers deeply offended by allegations of widespread police brutality.
While its district is unique, this race is also a broader test of whether Democrats who ran for moderates and called for a new breed of politics can maintain that mark after two years in office.
His Republican opponent, State Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis, and her allies are trying to tie Rose to national and local Democrats, and she has made public safety her number one campaign.
“It is in many ways a referendum on Bill de Blasio and the Defund the Police movement,” Malliotakis said of their race. “What is on the ballot, I think, is ‘law and order’ versus anarchy.”
Rose ousted GOP MP Dan Donovan, the popular former district attorney, by 6 points in 2018, something few in his party expected. “They thought there was a connection between electoral success and good looks,” joked Rose.
In the last cycle he carried out a populist campaign against both parties. And he has again rooted his offer on a “country over party” platform and warns that Malliotakis will blindly follow the GOP – even if the party’s politics harm New York.
Rose hosted a fiery press conference with two lawmakers on the boardwalk last weekend to condemn President Donald Trump and Congress for failing to receive a pandemic relief package. together in an unnecessary, dangerous and destructive political game. “
His tirades against both parties – he refers to the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell as a “legislative sociopath” – resonance with some voters.
To distribute Last Saturday morning in a Mid-Island Shop & Stop supermarket, Rose was approached by a man who railed against de Blasio and the two-party system. “Trump doesn’t belong there. Biden doesn’t belong. A party. Common sense. No more Democrats, no more Republicans,” he shouted.
“You’re telling the truth!” Rose yelled back.
“Now run to the mayor. Just now. Go down and go, ”the man yelled as Rose fell to the ground and did push-ups at his feet. (Rose later said he was not interested in running for mayor next year.)
“Going down on politics as usual is something young people really react to,” said Senator Diane Savino, a Staten Islander who prior to 2018 was part of a breakaway faction of Democrats that joined forces with Republicans in Albany to take control of the GOP to give the state legislative chamber.
Staten Islanders insist that they are far more personality motivated than the party. It was the only seat in the country to support John McCain as president in 2008, but President Barack Obama four years later in an election the week after Hurricane Sandy. But the voters here stood up for Trump in 2016 and gave him a 10-point victory.
“It’s a gut feeling that some people feel like he’s authentic, consistent and a fighter trying to improve the system,” said Rose of Trump’s victory. “There is no need to say anything negative about him in this analysis,” except that he failed to keep “the vast majority of the promises he made”. But Trump’s choice is that “Charges against the Democratic Party” and a sign of “a massive loss of confidence,” he said.
Rose’s problems with the Democratic Party are well known. He believes there is no bold populist platform to appeal to those outside the coastal elites and that its rhetoric is condescending. He railed against Ocasio-Cortez for rejecting Amazon’s proposed warehouse in Queens as an “ideological statement” damaging New York and for introducing a bill to ban military recruitment on video game platforms.
“I don’t see anyone doing a bill to prohibit the recruitment of corporate lawyers and investment bankers at our Ivy League locations,” he complained.
33-year-old Rose seems to trust that she will evoke the same gut feeling among voters as Trump. And Perhaps his bold personal style can counter the caricature of the anti-police radical that Republicans make him.
But some have tried to turn him into an opportunist, a Park Slope liberal who moved to Staten Island just before his 2018 run. And they predict that his bravery will be felt to be made up.
“We don’t talk like that. Every third word we say is not an F-bomb. You know?” said Brendan Lantry, chairman of the Staten Island GOP. “It only perpetuates this negative view of Staten Island when he keeps cursing magazines and newspapers.”
The polls from both parties show a close race, and GOP staff are confident that the “Defund the Police” hits they deploy will play a prominent role. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a top GOP super-PAC that has invested millions in television advertising, says Rose’s image rating fell sharply in their polls following advertising on the topic. (The group is running an ad in which a resident calls Rose “a bloody liar” while the swear word beeped for the television.)
But the Democrats spend the Republicans on television widely. Rose and his allies have shown nearly $ 11 million in ads, compared to just $ 4.5 million for the GOP.
When Malliotakis knocked on doors last weekend in the Westerleigh neighborhood, a swing area, she extolled her “support for all NYPD unions” and her plan to “stop people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the socialist force”. The literature she distributed during the acquisition warns Rose not to end bail and shut down Rikers Island, the East River city jail.
Like Rose, Malliotakis, who was beaten by de Blasio by 38 percentage points in the 2017 Mayor’s Race, even though she wore Staten Island by a long way, was easy to spot. When someone knocked on the door last weekend, a group of 10-year-old boys drove by on their bikes.
“Wait, is that Nicole Malliotakis?” a young called to her. “I see you on all of the YouTube ads! I don’t believe them, trust me. “Then they invited her to a block party around the corner, where she was greeted with cheers by the crowd and made a TikTok video with the kids.
Malliotakis claims Rose took a vow to be bipartisan, but consistently voted with the House spokesman Nancy Pelosi, also about the charges against Trump last year. In response to Rose’s claims that she will not break with her party, Malliotakis notes that she has spoken out against Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military and restrict travel from some Muslim countries. “I am my own person,” she said.
The candidates became increasingly controversial as they discussed Rose’s participation in a summer march for racial justice, during which he was photographed next to protesters holding signs calling for relief from the police.
“That was a crucial moment. People were really upset and rightly so, ”said Malliotakis. “The fact that he saw these signs and marched with them is disrespectful to the police. Period.”
Rose refuses to defuse the police, saying the New York City Police Department should pay its officers more than any other police force in the country. And he counters that the June march was a peaceful protest organized by the Young Leaders of Staten Island in coordination with the NYPD.
“Look what she is doing to the leaders of this march,” he said, describing them as children who want to improve their communities. “She positions them as rioters, as looters, as criminals, as violent people and says that Max Rose marched with them. You realize how dangerous that is? And these are the people she will represent when she becomes a member of Congress . It’s just wrong. “
“The truth is, no matter what you do, I’ll win,” said Rose. “I just feel bad for the Republican Party and the way they are wasting their money. It’s sad.”