March 27th, 2013
11:12 AM ET
7 years ago

You talking to me? Quinn unapologetic for temper

(CNN) – Christine Quinn, New York's leading Democratic mayoral candidate, says she's not going to apologize for her reportedly brazen temper as speaker of the City Council.

"Sometimes you have to push hard to get that done, but my job isn't to make people smile," she said Wednesday on CNN's "Newsroom." "My job is to deliver for New Yorkers."

Quinn's disposition was profiled in a recent New York Times story, which described the mayoral hopeful as "controlling, temperamental and surprisingly volatile, with a habit of hair-trigger eruptions of unchecked, face-to-face wrath."

According to those interviewed for the report, Quinn has repeatedly threatened to "slice off the private parts of those who cross her" and yells so loudly on the phone that listeners "have to hold their phones away from their ears."

"At times you need to be forceful to get things that are stuck unstuck," she told CNN's Carol Costello. "I have big emotions and I care deeply about delivering for New Yorkers and sometimes that means you got to push things forward–and I think New Yorkers know that. This is a tough town."

Quinn, who joined the City Council in 1999, has gained a reputation for being successful in her post as speaker, a position she's held since 2006. She's now considered the favored Democrat in this year's mayoral race to succeed Michael Bloomberg. Polls also show her ahead in hypothetical match-ups with Republicans.

Other New York mayors have been known to have a temper, as well, including former Republican Rudy Giuliani. Asked if she thought her attitude would be viewed differently if she were a man, Quinn said that didn't matter.

"I'm not a man. I'm a woman," she said. "I'm an aggressive woman who gets things done and that's the way it is, and I've never been embarrassed about the fact that I am pushy."

While Quinn, who was interviewed for the article, didn't shoot down many of the claims in the Times piece, she did take issue with one part of the story on Wednesday. She denied that her office was sound-proofed out of concern that others could hear her yelling at people in her office.

The speaker chalked it up to a "weird echo chamber" effect outside her office that made it difficult to communicate with others.

If Quinn is elected, she'll become New York's first female and first openly gay mayor. In the City Council, she's been a close ally of Bloomberg, who will leave next year after serving three terms. He is expected to endorse Quinn at some point before November's election.

- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Christine Quinn • New York
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Spoken like a true New Yorker. Sorry, but we don't bite our tongue.

    March 27, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Us New Yorkers have really thick skin. We may come off brazen and harsh, but we speak our minds and the truth. That's why I loved Anthony Weiner in Congress. He was a no holds barred politician.

    March 27, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. ritmocojo

    Anthony Weiner did in fact do well holding his own. In the pictures he sent, that is.

    March 27, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Mack

    The NY Times sank her battleship.

    March 27, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. noteasilyswayed

    We need more politicians that speak the truth and do not try to "couch" everything that they say in politically correct terminology. I hope that she yells and confronts those who try to oppose her when she's trying to get good results for her constituency. This is why Chris Christie is also liked by his voters.

    March 27, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Joe King

    Yelling at someone an threatening to "slice off the private parts of those who cross her" is rude, abusive, disrespectful and quite uncivilized act no matter if you are a man or a woman, gay or straight.

    March 27, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. robert Jay

    I agree with "noteasilyswayed" – we need more people like her and to hell with "politically correct"- I grew up in Chicago and people said what they felt and meant – if you didn't like it speak up or shut up and move on – this politically correct cow towing crap by people / teachers / parents / politicians / buisness people is just that – crap – its basically why our kids are so dumb – can't stand the heat – get out of the kitchen – better yet – get a real job!

    March 27, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Jason

    New York doesn't have a mayor. New York City does.

    March 27, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Buck Biro

    Its pretty common to hear about how "tough" New Yorkers are. Though I'm sure there are a lot of tough New Yorkers, NYC isn't a tough town anymore for the most part, it's citizenry just likes to hold the image. You want tough? Take a look at Detroit (big), or Harden, Montana (tiny), not NYC, the Luxury City.

    March 27, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Mike Mongo

    A leader is supposed to listen to, and represent, her people, NOT present her version of "the truth" as fact. Emotional appeals to New Yorkers 'vanity" at being an outspoken people is said and pathetic. As a New Yorker born and raised, I'm tired of politicians who seem to feel they have a handle on the truth, and fail to listen to others, and I am afraid if she rolls in, the "voice" of the people will be shouted down and out. We've already suffered one self-assured bully the past dozen years, we don't need another.

    March 27, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm not a man. I'm a woman," she said. "I'm an aggressive woman who gets things done and that's the way it is, and I've never been embarrassed about the fact that I am pushy."
    Elect her my fellow New Yorkers! She is the BOMB!!
    A true New Yorker. We don't pussyfoot around!!

    March 27, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Darrell

    Woman for mayor? No thank you. I don't want to deal with arbitrary city ordinances every month.

    March 27, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    No to Quinn, Bill deBlasio for mayor.

    March 27, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Yelling at people, threatening bodily harm and catching a temper tantrum when things don't go her way and people are saying she's good for New York? Please people, please. Have you New Yorkers lost your minds? Gee, I wish President Obama had five like her. You go girl. Oops, please don't be mad at me for calling tou girl, Ma'am. Ms. Quinn rocks.

    March 27, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Tony "Oscar Meyer" Weiner

    As a suggestion, if she does slice off the privates of people, just don't tweet photos of them.

    March 27, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. bxgrrl

    Bloomquinn doesn't deliver for New Yorkers. She delivers for her donors , oops, I meant "constituency." She couldn't care less about the vast majority of the NYC population.

    March 27, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. janer52

    you can't be 'nice' anymore. no one listens. sad, but true

    March 27, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Joanne Brown

    Send her to Washington!!!!

    March 27, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. plain&simple

    You love people like Quinn when they're on your side supporting your views. Not so much when you don't.The real question things get done? Or are you stuck calling eachother names.

    March 27, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Steve

    The brazenness, pushy, downright rude, childish, tantrums and the fact that they talk through their nose up there is exactly why I am not in New York. She sounds like the perfect type of person to be mimicked in a monty python movie. Instead of killer rabbit they could have killer rats. Oh wait, they already do.....

    March 27, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. BigSir

    It would be like having my wife as Mayor. No way...don't need that.

    March 27, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |