Ulrich – one time considered a potential challenger himself – has been critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio throughout the mayor’s first term and believes Dietl is the candidate best equipped to challenge him.
“I think they mayor’s lack of attention to detail when it comes to managing the day-to-day affairs of the city and properly managing the agencies that are his responsibility, he’s been a huge failure,” Ulrich said.
“The one that hits closest to home for my constituents is the Build it Back program, which is an abysmal failure,” he added. “It’s run out of money already, we’ve had to put back in more money to keep the program going. The cost overruns are exorbitant.”
Ulrich said that many of his constituents feel that de Blasio doesn’t represent them, noting the administration’s handling of the homeless crisis.
“My constituents see the panhandlers, they see the homeless people on the streets,” he said. “Many of them are still not back in their homes since Hurricane Sandy, then they turn on the TV and see the mayor is campaigning or raising money in other states for his re-election.”
Dietl, he believes, would be a much better representative for his constituents at a City level.
“Dietl is from Queens, has deep roots in Queens, comes from Ozone Park,” Ulrich said. “He has a storied career in law enforcement and is an unconventional candidate to say the very least. He is bold, he is charismatic, he is energetic and he is sometimes provocative.”
Dietl has come under fire in the past for remarks perceived as racist, including most recently for comparing a black judge’s physical appearance to First Lady Chirlane McCray.
While meeting with prominent Republican leaders and voters at Lenny’s Clam Bar on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach, Dietl showed a few of them the photo to re-iterate that there was no racist implication of his remarks, but that he genuinely believed they looked similar.
He also defended past remarks made on Imus in the Morning on WABC radio, including comments about a Muslim man.
“Everyone thinks I’m a person who doesn’t say nice things,” he said. “You don’t understand I’ve been doing Imus for 32 years. It’s a comedy show. Because I called some Arab terrorist ‘aba-dabba-dooo,’ they get all pissed off at me,”
Despite the controversy that swirled around Dietl last week, Ulrich has maintained his support.
“I think running for office and being in office are two different things,” Ulrich said of Dietl’s campaign and public temperament so far.
Ulrich was also quick to distance Dietl from comparisons to President Donald Trump, a comparison Dietl himself dislikes.
“The only thing they have in common is that they’re both from New York and they are both very outspoken and unconventional candidates,” Ulrich said.
He said the Trump comparisons only help de Blasio.
“If you buy into the narrative that Bo Dietl is Donald Trump, then you’re basically agreeing with the mayor’s whole re-election theme, which is he wants to run against Donald Trump,” Ulrich said. “The mayor spends more time talking about President Trump then he does anybody else that’s been mentioned in the race.
“I think the mayor realizes that the only person more unpopular than he is in the five boroughs is Donald Trump,” Ulrich added.