With the 2016 campaign now focused squarely on the April 19 primary in New York, the five remaining presidential candidates have taken to the Big Apple looking to connect with everyday New Yorkers. And it’s not as easy as it looks.
Bernie Sanders was mocked after an interview with the Daily News last week in which the 74-year-old Brooklyn-born Vermont senator revealed he didn’t know the New York City subway system no longer uses tokens.
“What do you mean, ‘How do you ride the subway these days?’ You get a token and you get on,” Sanders said when asked about his straphanger experience.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, speaking to reporters in the Bronx early Thursday, took a swipe at Sanders before hopping on the subway at the 161st St.-Yankee Stadium station.
Hillary Clinton holds her MetroCard as she tries to use the turnstile to enter a subway station in the Bronx on Thursday. (Photo: Richard Drew/AP)
“I think it was my first term when we changed from tokens to MetroCards,” the former New York senator said.
— POLITICO (@politico)April 7, 2016
But Clinton appeared to have some trouble swiping through the turnstile. Reporters tailing the former secretary of state noted it took her at least five swipes before she was able to access the No. 4 train platform — apparently a common problem, judging by the outpouring of complaints about subway turnstiles on Twitter after her jaunt.
The local transportation fumbles of Sanders and Clinton paled in comparison to the hostile greeting that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received during a visit a Dominican eatery in the South Bronx.
“Why are you in the Bronx if you’re such an anti-immigrant?” Gonzalo Venegas asked him shortly after the Republican hopeful arrived.
“We’re one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, and to receive this right-wing bigot is an insult to the whole community!” Venegas’ brother Rodrigo shouted. “People are dying! People are dying, Ted Cruz!”
Cover of Thursday’s New York Daily News. (Courtesy Daily News)
The two were escorted out of the restaurant by police — and the incident landed Cruz an unflattering headline on the front page of the Daily News.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who was criticized last month for using a fork to eat a slice of pizza during a campaign stop in Queens — fared much better on Thursday while dining at Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
Gov. John Kasich sits down for a meal at Mike’s Deli in the Bronx on Thursday. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
According to reporters, the GOP hopeful consumed no less than two plates of spaghetti, half an Italian sub and even some wine.
“This is like being so alive, being in New York,” a stuffed Kasich told reporters.
I think Kasich is enjoying the Bronx pic.twitter.com/WXOBhO84my— Jennifer Fermino (@jfermino)April 7, 2016
Damn: after downing two plates of spaghetti and half a sandwich, Kasich orders pasta fagioli pic.twitter.com/8oXAxH3q3G— Max Tani (@maxwelltani)April 7, 2016
At a rally on Long Island Wednesday night, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said, “It’s great to be home,” before tearing into Cruz’s criticism of his “New York values.”
“Like we’re no good,” Trump said. “I started talking to him about the World Trade Center — the bravery, the incredible bravery — and I’ve got this guy standing over there looking at me, talking about New York values with scorn in his face, with hatred, hatred of New York.”
Earlier in his speech, the billionaire reality-TV star reflected on his days of playing golf at nearby Bethpage State Park.