NEW YORK — Congresswoman-elect Nicole Malliotakis, who has floated starting an anti-socialist “squad,” says she’s already met new Republican members of Congress who share her views on fighting what she deems dangerous socialist ideas.
“We have socialized medicine that they’re talking about, stacking the courts, changing the constitution, changing our election laws — very dangerous policies that they do in countries that are not the United States of America,” the Republican said in an interview with Inside City Hall anchor Errol Louis on Tuesday night. “This is a nation where we want to preserve freedoms.”
Malliotakis is coming off a win in her bitter battle against Democrat Max Rose, unseating the representative for the swing 11th Congressional District district, which encompasses Staten Island and south Brooklyn. Like many Republicans running for office in 2020, Malliotakis portrayed her campaign as a fight against radical Democratic socialists, attempting to tie Rose to the far left section of the party even though he is a centrist Democrat.
Now, Malliotakis, who is of Greek and Cuban decent, is looking to shake up Congress. She said she could start her own “squad,” perhaps rivaling another New York congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The assemblywoman hasn’t said who may be in this “squad” if she starts it, but she said in her interview with NY1 that during congressional orientation this week she connected well with fellow incoming Republican Congress members, including Maria Salazar (FL-27), Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), and Victoria Spartz (IN-5), who are either first-generation Americans or immigrants. She says they share a goal of fighting the passage of what they call socialist policies, such as universal health care and packing the Supreme Court.
Calling for NY-11 to Heed Coronavirus Guidelines
In the interview on Tuesday, Malliotakis encouraged her soon-to-be constituents to wear masks, get tested for coronavirus, and follow safety guidelines, warning that the district — home to Staten Island, which faces an alarmingly-high COVID-19 spike — cannot withstand another shutdown.
“I agree with trying to ensure that we are enforcing these guidelines. We are encouraging everyone to wear their mask. We need to be vigilant, particularly with the holiday season coming up,” she said. “If you do have any of the symptoms, you need to get tested immediately.”
During a NY1 debate last month, Malliotakis said she encouraged people to wear masks when in crowds, but she didn’t support shutdowns or a potential federal mask mandate.
“We can’t just mandate people to do certain things. There has to be a sense of personal responsibility as well,” she said in the October 14 debate.
Those comments came 11 days after the Staten Island Republican Party held a rally in support of President Donald Trump. Malliotakis was one of the speakers. Masks were not required at the event, which hundreds of people attended.
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Watch the full interview above.
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