Constituents of Rep. Michael Grimm on Staten Island were split in their reaction to his incident with an NY1 reporter following the State of the Union Tuesday evening. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
Anthony Betances opened up Sneaker Connect right next to Rep. Michael Grimm's District office on Staten Island a year ago.
He said the threats Grimm made to NY1's Michael Scotto reflect badly on the borough.
"At the end of the day, he's a politician, and everybody's watching his move everywhere he goes," Betances said. "And he represents Staten Island. He represents New York, so that kind of behavior looks bad on our part."
Other constituents agree, saying Grimm crossed a line.
"I think it's appalling," said one. "I think one of the most important aspects of our democracy is freedom of the press, so for an elected official to threaten journalists is, it's horrifying."
"You got to maintain control," said another. "He was set back, and he didn't handle it very well. That's what happens."
Still, there are others who say Grimm's actions were justified and defend his actions.
"I love it," said one person. "Because he was in the military and he acts like a military man."
"He's a Congressman. He's busy. He's trying to do what he has to do," said another. "The guy kind of rubbed him the wrong way."
"Not exactly the attitude we would like to have for a congressman, but things happen," said a third. "This is New York. He is a New Yorker."
While constituents are split on whether Grimm's actions were appropriate, they say they'll remember when they head to the polls.
"Those are the things that you take into consideration when you consider to vote for a person and their personality," said one.
"I wouldn't even vote for him for anything," Betances said. "I just don't want to even support anybody like that."
"It's a little embarrassing for him on his part because the camera was still running and the mic was still on," said another Staten Islander. "So it's more embarrassing for Grimm, but I wouldn't change my vote for him."
Grimm is up for re-election in November in what was already shaping up as a competitive race.