Congressman Michael Grimm and Councilman Domenic Recchia
The New York Daily News reports that Congressman Michael Grimm received heat for using his planned opposition to action in Syria as part of a fundraising email, and Councilman Domenic Recchia, who is challenging Grimm in the 2014 Congressional elections, attacked the incumbent for changing his mind on the situation in Syria and the fundraising stunt.
Grimm’s email to supporters, which has since been yanked, was detailed by the Huffington Post.
“Today, I decided to withdraw my support from President Obama’s proposal for a military strike against Syria. I have heard from many of you in Staten Island and Brooklyn, and it is clear to me that their [sic] is strong opposition to the strike. As your voice in Washington, I will continue to listen and take a stand for you,” he wrote.
The letter then followed with: “Will you stand with me in opposing President Obama’s plan with a donation of $25 or more right now?”
Grimm’s campaign quickly admitted that the email was a mistake and that the Congressman was “fuming” over it. Grimm gave a more detailed apology to SI Live.
“It is an absolutely disgraceful mistake,” Grimm told SI LIve. “If I got an e-mail like that, I would be offended.”
Recchia pounced over Grimm’s email in a statement.
“The use of military force is the most serious of issues, and it should be treated that way,” Recchia said.
Last week, we reported on Grimm’s change of heart regarding the U.S. potentially taking action in Syria over the Asad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons in their ongoing civil war. Initially, Grimm made statements signifying that he was supporting President Barack Obama’s request that Congress give him authorization to strike in Syria. A few days later, Grimm changed his mind and announced that he was no longer in favor providing support for the President’s plans. The Daily News described Recchia’s reaction to Grimm’s flip-flop:
Grimm’s expected Democratic challenger next year, New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia declined to say how he would vote. But in a statement Recchia said that Grimm “took one knee jerk position and then completely flipped in 72 hours,” in a show of the “petty politics that have shut down Washington.”
The Daily News then detailed a meeting with Grimm held with constituents that led him to change his mind after receiving an unpleasant reaction after informing them that he was backing the President:
Addressing Staten Island constituents Wednesday night at a meeting South Beach Civic Association, Grimm was still arguing for backing Obama, according to audio of the meeting provided to the Daily News.
“Do we draw a red line and not do anything?” he asked, referring the message Iran could take from inaction. “Do we allow a regime…to use chemical weapons and not do anything and allow that precedent to stand?”
Grimm also told constituents that would not take a position before joining the debate in Washington.
“There is no right or wrong or here,” he said. “When I get back to Washington I’m going to be involved in debate. I’m not going to fully make up my mind. I’m leaning towards — I’m leaning towards supporting the President because he already committed us”
That comment was met by angry disagreement by audience members at the event.
Grimm changed his mind following the angry reaction from constituents, prompting his campaign to send out the email soliciting for funds based on his opposition to the Syria issue.