CHICAGO (CBS) — Less than a day after former top cop Garry McCarthy announced he’s running for mayor, Rahm Emanuel’s campaign fired its first salvo in the race, launching a campaign video featuring President Donald Trump calling McCarthy “a phenomenal guy.”
The ad shows Trump speaking at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, where he talked about meeting McCarthy, who was a New York City police officer for 25 years, and ran the department’s CompStat program before leaving to run the Newark Police Department in 2006, and then taking the top police job in Chicago in 2011.
“He’s a phenomenal guy,” Trump said of McCarthy, although he didn’t mention the former Chicago police superintendent by name.
The video clearly is an attempt to exploit Trump’s extremely low approval in Chicago. The ad also notes a Sun-Times columnist once wrote that a McCarthy speech sounded “Trump-like,” and that a Chicago Tribune article mentioned McCarthy’s speech bore “similarities to Trump’s controversial comments.”
The spot apparently refers to a September 2016 speech McCarthy gave at the City Club of Chicago, nine months after he was fired, in which he took swipes at Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and criticized the Justice Department investigation of the Chicago Police Department’s use of force.
The video repeats Trump’s “he’s a phenomenal guy” line three times, and ends with the narrator saying “A Trump-McCarthy ticket? Phenomenally bad for Chicago.”
Mayor Emanuel’s campaign said it’s clear McCarthy and Trump “share much of the same worldview, and Chicagoans deserve to know more about their mutual admiration society.”
“When Garry McCarthy says he’s a conservative Democrat, the only part we question is the word Democrat,” Emanuel campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco said in an email.“Donald Trump thinks McCarthy is ‘a phenomenal guy’ because they’re both cut from the same New York cloth and embrace the same bitter, divisive rhetoric and policies. But personal bitterness isn’t a way to build a bright future for Chicago.”
McCarthy took his own shots at Emanuel in his campaign announcement video on Thursday, blasting the man who fired him for failing to live up to his promises to fix the city’s problems.
“Unfortunately, Chicago’s city government has lost our trust, because of failed policies and the endless politics of bluster and bullying,” McCarthy said in his video. “Under this mayor, we’re awash in higher taxes, corruption, school closings and violent crime.”