Exclusive — Empire State of Mind: NY GOP Chairman Ed Cox Taunts Anti-Trump Protesters

People clash with protesters while they take part in a march against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

New York State GOP Chairman Ed Cox isn’t letting the looming threat of twenty thousand anti-Donald Trump protesters dampen the enthusiasm for state-wide Republican Gala on Thursday.

“We are flattered by the attention they are giving us,” he laughed. “It means we are doing something right!”

Thousands of anti-Trump protesters promise to protest the state party’s annual gala at the Grand Hyatt on 42nd Street in New York City — just as Republicans in New York are playing a critical role in the selection of the party’s presidential nominee for the first time in many years.

“It is really exciting,” he told Breitbart News. “I think the grassroots of the Republican party on April 19th will decide by the way they vote whether it will be an open convention or not.”

“My duty to the state party, to the state committee, to myself as chairman of the state committee, that’s the most important thing and we planned that from the start,” he told Breitbart News.

That’s why the state committee did not endorse anyone at its convention, and there wasn’t even a resolution to endorse anyone. We all had the strategy. We suspected we would end up in this position, working with former governor Patterson who was then my counterpart as Chair, we decided we would have our primary on the 19th, being the ONLY state on the 19th. With at least a couple weeks run up to that. Five weeks to run up to it. With only three other smaller primaries in between.

It has worked out exactly as we thought it would, and in planning for the state committee decided it would remain absolutely neutral and welcome all of the candidates in so they could all get in for the purpose of this blue state of giving the grassroots their New Hampshire moment.

To succeed in New York, the competing candidates must work very hard, Cox said.

It’s a lot of hard work, because New York while we are not the largest state geographically, we’re about in the middle some place among the states. We have huge diversity in the voting population. The hard work is in this two week period going forward, where in person, over the airwaves, by surrogates, where you can show up and pick up perhaps a delegate if you are come in second in congressional district where the person who comes in first doesn’t have majority, but has a plurality, or maybe there is a district where you can get a plurality.

You have to take a look at down state, the New York metropolitan region has almost half of the congressional districts here. So you can get around to them easily but then you have to locate the Republican activists, where do you get to see a good bunch of them so they get your message, and get it out among the others, and get to the polls, and whats the most effective median for this in NYC, what the most effective median for doing it in each of the different areas in western New York, central NY, southern tier, Hudson valley, capital region. 

So what does it take to win in New York? “That’s is a very good question,” he said.

They all have it. They all have gone through a number of primaries, a number of debates, they have got their political personas defined over a period of time. What they have to do is get out, the ability to their message out to the people of New York and to the republicans of New York State and then let the Republican voters decide who they really want to be President of the United States.