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Coverage of central and northern New York's congressional races, including the primary races and the general election.Races covered include the 24th Congressional District, currently held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), who is running for reelection; the 22nd Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld), who is retiring; and the 21st Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro).

Trump speech in Syracuse from 2014 echoes his current campaign style

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)
Donald Trump at a 2014 Republican fundraiser in Syracuse.

In 2014, Donald Trump attended a Republican fundraiser in Syracuse as he floated the idea of running for governor of New York.  Some of the talking points and style Trump now uses on the presidential campaign trail can be heard in that earlier speech.

Do these quotes sound familiar?

  • “We’ve become so weakened by a president that has no clue.”

  • “I was not at all thinking about this and they said, please run, please run, please run.”

  • “I’ve had a lot of good statistics and very good poll numbers and I think I would win, actually.”

They are all Donald Trump talking about the prospect of running for governor of New York a year before he announced he was running for president.

"I'll only do it if there's total unity in the party, which obviously there isn't, there is not unity in the party," Trump said. "But the Republicans can absolutely win New York state." 

Trump ended up not throwing his hat in the ring for governor, but he touched on many issues that still divide the country today such as fracking, gun control and climate change. He was for fracking in upstate New York, against the state’s gun law, the SAFE Act, and he describes himself as not a big global warming person. He attacked the state’s high taxes and education spending. He called out Syracuse as well.

“Syracuse, which has lots of problems, although I do think they have a great basketball team," Trump said to applause. "When your children grow up and they turn 18 or 21, they leave Syracuse. They’re not going to stay in Syracuse.”

Trump said fracking had tremendous potential to turn around the upstate economy and make it an energy capitol that could bring back those leaving the state. Later in 2014, Cuomo announced the state would ban fracking.

"Gov. Cuomo, who I know well, but for whatever reason, he’s not allowing you to go down and get that energy and get that money and get all those jobs and make this state successful," Trump said. "It’s the single biggest thing you could do to take this state and make it great.”

It was not a raucous arena of thousands of people, but those that attended the Republican fundraiser did seem open to Trump’s off-script style.

Onondaga County Chairman Tom Dadey is among those in New York who publicly supports Trump. That endorsement stems from Trump’s 2014 visit and Dadey is hopeful Trump will come back to the Syracuse area before the state’s primary on April 19.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.