POLITICS

Michael Grimm: Bill De Blasio Isn't 'Ready For Prime Time'

02/26/2014 03:36 pm ET | Updated Feb 26, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) took a swipe at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday, expressing his concern the mayor isn't "ready for prime time."

Grimm's criticism comes just weeks after he was filmed threatening to break a NY1 reporter "in half" after being questioned about an ongoing investigation into possible campaign finance violations.

Politicker reports the congressman's comments were made during a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera.

"You know, he's prime time, and I'm not sure he was ready for prime time," Grimm said. "My thing with de Blasio ... is very simple: He has to make the Sandy victims, especially in Staten Island and the Rockaways where we got crushed, he has to make that a priority and he hasn't done so so far."

Grimm went further, claiming de Blasio's administration has repeatedly avoided meeting with him to discuss Sandy aid.

"I need him to do well, but so far I don't think his priorities have been the hard-working families of the city of New York," Grimm said.

After Grimm threatened reporter Michael Scotto in January, de Blasio characterized Grimm's behavior as "absolutely unacceptable" and urged him to apologize.

"You don't threaten to throw reporters physically," de Blasio said. "I think all of us who go into public life accept a higher set of standards ... We always have to ask the question, 'What does it say to our constituents? What does it say to the people? What does it say to our young people?'"

The embattled congressman eventually issued a public apology.

During Wednesday's interview, Rivera said he would continue to support Grimm's reelection despite the negative attention he's received following the incident.

"You're a true blue friend," Grimm told Rivera. "You're also a native New Yorker and, you know, sometimes New Yorkers, we say things we don't really mean. We let our emotions get the best of us. That's what happened there, but it shouldn't have happened. I'm a professional and I never should have allowed that to happen."

Listen below for Wednesday's interview:

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