New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is running against popular pro-Trump YouTuber Joey Saladino for a congressional seat in Staten Island, previously said that she regretted voting for President Donald Trump.
The candidate is now pandering to Trump voters in order to win the Republican primary against Saladino, despite her opposition to ending DACA, the border wall and his proposed travel ban.
In 2017, while she was running for mayor against Bill de Blasio, Malliotakis said that she had voted for Trump because he was the nominee, but wished she had wrote in Marco Rubio instead.
“I’d write in Marco Rubio…I’d write in Marco Rubio so that I could tell you I voted Marco Rubio,” Malliotakis told the Daily News about what she would do if she had a chance to change her vote.
Malliotakis’ stated reasons for disliking Trump sound more like a liberal Democrat’s than a Republican’s: “his proposed ban on transgender service members, his plans to suspend DACA, his promise to build a border wall and his travel ban.”
NeverTrumper Malliotakis also discussed her voter’s remorse on camera with Spectrum News NY1.
Now that she needs the support of the pro-Trump Republican base, she has drastically changed her tune — often praising the president in public comments. She seems to be hoping that Republican primary voters forget her radically anti-Trump positions.
Malliotakis might be in trouble, because her primary opponent, YouTube star Joseph Saladino (better known as “Joey Salads”) has an unbroken track record of supporting the Trumpist agenda.
The Staten Island native lists slowing economic opportunity for the area’s youth, ever increasing taxes, and the growing opioid addiction crisis as some of the top issues he will be addressing with his campaign. He is well-known for his comedic videos running pranks on unsuspecting strangers — they are generally not overtly political in nature.
He supports ending DACA, building a wall and does not regret voting for the president — telling TGP that he’s been “MAGA since birth.”
“DACA has directly lead to a massive increase in children being smuggled across the border,” Saladino told the Gateway Pundit.
Saladino has nearly 2.5 million followers on YouTube and Facebook, as well as 82,000 on Twitter. According to a statement from his campaign, his work gets over one billion views on social media per year.
Saladino recently made headlines for filing a lawsuit against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for blocking him on Twitter. His lawsuit came in response a decision from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that President Donald Trump cannot block people on social media because it is a public forum.
Ocasio-Cortez blocked Saladino in May, shortly after he announced his candidacy, according to a press release from his campaign.
“I’m suing AOC because we need to be able to have a strong and vigorous debate between the parties, otherwise our fragile system of ideas and representation breaks down,” Saladino said. “Though she is not in a position of power, she is the voice of her generation of Democrat voters, and bigger than some of the Presidential candidates.”
Saladino posted a video of himself filing the lawsuit on his YouTube channel.
“If we can’t talk to one another, the whole system breaks down.” Saladino continued. “Look what is happening in my district when entrenched NeverTrumpers are confronted by America First ideas. Like it or not we live in the same city and we need to be professional.”