Embattled Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, pursuing re-election despite a 20-count federal indictment, accused the media of vilifying him, according to Politico.
"There's no question I've been vilified by the press since the day I got here," the New York Republican told Politico. "From the very beginning they had to figure out how to get rid of this guy."
Grimm has had to stop campaign fund raising though he does have $1.1 million in his war chest. There is not enough money to run television ads. His campaign manager quit so Grimm has become his own campaign manager, according to Politico.
Republican leaders on his home base of Staten Island and on Capitol Hill have refused to support his re-election. His Democratic opponent, former New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia, is no longer considered the underdog in the race, Politico reported.
Grimm acknowledged that he was mistaken to threaten a local television reporter on camera earlier this year who had asked him about his legal troubles. "My misstep with Michael Scotto, that's on me. I screwed up."
He said he felt Scotto had taken a "cheap shot" by raising the issue in the first place when there were more important topics of interest to his constituents to discuss.
Grimm explained his "aggressive" persona by the need to advocate for his district. "Staten Island gets screwed all the time. And if I'm not aggressive, then I won't be successful. That's not being a bad boy. That's doing my job."
He said that he could manage without television campaign spots. "I just got to do what I do, and get out there and meet my friends and neighbors," he told Politico.
At a series of recent campaign stops Grimm was surrounded by supportive constituents who encouraged him to stay in the race. Supporters earlier this month held a parade for Grimm that extended for eight blocks and included motorcycle riders, according to NY1 News
The criminal charges against the congressman stem from 2007 to 2010 before he was elected when he held a stake in a fast-food Manhattan restaurant. The government alleges that he hid $1 million in sales and wages, employed illegal aliens and committed perjury.
Grimm has pleaded not guilty, is out on bail, and said he expected to exonerated.
Meanwhile, Grimm doesn't plan to change his approach. "My style, granted, is to break eggs, to step on toes," he told Politico. "I didn't take this job to make a political future or career."
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