Engel on Speaking at Event: ‘If I Didn’t Have a Primary, I Wouldn’t Care’

During an event on Tuesday, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) was caught on a hot mic on News 12’s stream asking to speak at an event and saying that he “wouldn’t care” about speaking if he didn’t have a primary challenger.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. told Engel that he would not be speaking at the event and “I cannot have all the electeds talk. Because we will never get out of here. Please bear with me. I’ll announce everybody. I appreciate you coming.”

Engel responded, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

Diaz told Engel, “Don’t do that to me. We’re not going to do this. We’re not going to politicize. Everybody has a primary.”

Engel later told News 12 in a statement, “In the context of running for re-election, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that’s why I asked to speak. Of course, I care deeply about what’s happening in this country, that’s what I wanted to convey. I love the Bronx, grew up in the Bronx, and lived here all my life. I would not have tried to impose on the Borough President if I didn’t think it was important.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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