The Commercial Finance Association in New York City was stuck apologizing for racist comments made by Republican attack dog and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani last Thursday at their “40 Under 40” Awards dinner. Giuliani was then unceremoniously dumped by the International Council of Shopping Centers’ New York National Deal Making Conference, where he was scheduled to speak in December. Attendees at the CFA dinner were astounded by the Republican’s remarks, which were only reported – ironically – in the New York Observer, which is owned by Trump’s son-in-law and senior campaign strategist Jared Kushner:
“Rudy talked about immigration and made a really, really inappropriate comment about the quote-unquote Mexicans in the kitchen at the Waldorf,” the attendee said. “It was bad. You could hear a pin drop. I think he was looking for applause.” A second person in attendance also recalled a remark about Mexicans coming to the country to work illegally in kitchens.
The political issue of paid speaking gigs by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton became a political issue this year because of the substantial income paid to celebrities and former government officials by the private sector. However, there’s never been an allegation that Hillary Clinton said anything so tremendously awful that her hosts had to issue a blanket apology.
Even worse for the former New York Mayor who has taken a hard right turn to become the most shrill Republican on Trump’s team of surrogates, it looks like he won’t be able to turn to these cushy gigs for income himself anymore. In fact, Trump spoke to the same gathering in 2014 according to reports:
The International Council of Shopping Centers, which paid Donald Trump $50,000 to give the keynote speech at its New York City conference in 2014, has booted former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as this year’s top speaker over his support for the controversial presidential candidate.
Apparently, it was a revolt by real estate brokers that convinced the ICSC to dump Giuliani for the CEO of Under Armor who has donated to members of both political parties. Apparently, bi-partisanship is still alive in the business world, even if Republicans haven’t had much interest in governing since President Obama took office. The Commercial Observer reports:
The city’s 107th mayor has been dethroned as the keynote speaker following letters from real estate professionals calling for his removal because of his staunch support of a presidential candidate (Donald Trump) they deem divisive, according to a broker who requested anonymity. “We shouldn’t bring politics into it,” the broker said. “We should have someone more open-minded and who is for globalization and not for stopping trade, etc.”
Donald Trump’s policies would put millions of Americans out of work, and the fact that his peers don’t want anything to do with his campaign shows how damaged the GOP brand has become in business circles. This is the sad end-game resulting from Republican party’s transformation from the party of business into the party of know-nothing racism and fear, the party of Trump.
The movement to dump Rudy Giuliani from business engagements because of his racist Republican rhetoric is the proverbial canary in the coal mine signaling a generational shift by the kinds of “job creators” that party has always feted towards voting for the Democratic party.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition