Tags: catsimatidis | trump | wall | immigration

Catsimatidis Backs Trump Wall to Stem Border Flows

Catsimatidis Backs Trump Wall to Stem Border Flows
(Getty Images)

Saturday, 17 August 2019 11:10 AM

New Yorkers can’t seem to escape John Catsimatidis.

The gregarious 70-year-old billionaire is tied to two of the city’s best-known grocery chains: he owns Gristedes and bailed out D’Agostino. He’s a fixture at steakhouses Smith & Wollensky and Bobby Van’s. In 2013, the former Democrat ran for mayor as a Republican, but lost in a primary. He thought about but never started a campaign in 2009.

He hosts a local Sunday morning radio show, “The Cats Roundtable,” where he’s interviewed Trump ally Steve Bannon and lawyer Alan Dershowitz. In June, he offered $12.5 million to buy WABC Radio, the New York home for conservative talk luminaries such as Mark Levin and Brian Kilmeade. The deal should be completed later this year.

Catsimatidis, who immigrated from Greece to the U.S. with his family when he was an infant, has been getting vocal about his support for President Donald Trump -- especially on immigration and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. His two grown children were among attendees at a Trump committee fundraiser in the Hamptons last weekend.

“Trump has stood up against the problem at the borders. These people are coming in and we have to feed them, clothe them, hospitalize them, educate them,” he said in an interview this week at his office on the east side of Manhattan. “Build a wall.”

Here are his thoughts on the Federal Reserve, the trade war and his future plans. They’ve been edited for clarity.

On Immigration

I’m an immigrant. I want immigration. But let’s take people who are going to help our country get better, versus people who want to hurt us. You can’t solve the world’s problems. We don’t want the drug addicts, we don’t want the people who are renting children to cross the border.

On the Fed

The Fed should be more sensitive. (Former chair) Janet Yellen did a great job. She kept interest rates low to make sure the economy goes forward.

Then Jerome Powell came in under the old Republican philosophy of “raise interest rates to prevent the inflation.” There is no fricking inflation. It’s now a world economy. I’m disappointed in him. He was draining the economy out of money by raising interest rates and not putting any liquidity into the system.

(Trump has waged a public campaign against Powell, pushing policy makers to cut interest rates. He most recently said Powell is “clueless.”)

On Trump’s Tax Cuts

We have made additional investments because of it, and it gave us confidence to create more jobs and we haven’t invested overseas.

On the Trade War

A lot of people don’t like Donald Trump, and sometimes he gives good reason not to. But he’s the only one with the courage to do the right things for our country. The Chinese for the last 10 years have been robbing our eyeballs out.

Showing a little bit of leeway on tariffs is a good idea. The Chinese are very proud people, and you have to save face.

(The U.S. delayed imposition of some new tariffs this week after top negotiators spoke by phone, and Trump said Beijing wants to “do something dramatic” to end the trade impasse.)

On the Trump Re-election Campaign

I don’t want a job. I’m here to help.

On the Democrats

Joe Biden is the most common sense pick of all. (Former Fox News host) Bill O’Reilly predicts it will be Joe Biden along with Kamala Harris, with Biden making a promise to Harris that he’ll only stay for four years.

On Liberals vs. Conservatives

I’m not extreme right wing. I’m not extreme left wing. When I ran for mayor, I had the Liberal Party’s endorsement. I’m a common sense, middle-of-the-road person. I’m a liberal as far as helping Americans. I’m a conservative as far as making sure we don’t p*** away money.

On His Political Future

People are pushing me to run for mayor one more time. It’s a long way. We should get through the presidential election first and then decide.

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Politics
Catsimatidis, who immigrated from Greece to the U.S. with his family when he was an infant, has been getting vocal about his support for President Donald Trump -- especially on immigration and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
catsimatidis, trump, wall, immigration
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2019-10-17
Saturday, 17 August 2019 11:10 AM
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