Condom question trips up mayoral candidates in GOP debate

Condoms tripped up the Republican candidates during a recent debate. Credit: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Republican mayoral hopefuls got a little tongue-tied over a question about the city’s free condoms in a televised debate Wednesday night.

Earlier this month, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn promised to improve the quality of the city’s free condoms, which are widely distributed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“There have been a number of complaints that the condoms distributed by the city are not big enough or strong enough, I wonder if you agree and if you would make it a priority,” CBS2 reporter Marcia Kramer asked Gristedes boss John Catsimatidis.

“Well, uh…” Catsimatidis said nervously to laughter from the audience. His opponents also smiled. “I disagree with Christine Quinn, as far as distributing condoms to underage kids without their parents’ permission.”

“I think we should buy the strongest condoms we can get,” Catsimatidis added with a grin, causing Lhota to shake his head and laugh in disbelief.

Doe Fund founder George McDonald made a point of tying the condom question back to jobs.

“Whatever condoms we use, I want them made in the city of New York. I want to use the purchasing power of the city of New York to create jobs, all kinds of jobs! These are hi-tech jobs — they have to be safe,” McDonald said, smiling.

Former MTA chairman Joe Lhota used the question as an opportunity to blast Quinn.

“I don’t agree with Christine Quinn. You want to see the ultimate in pandering? It’s exactly what Christine Quinn did,” he said, noting the city will continue to distribute condoms. Lhota added that he agreed the condoms should be made in the city.

It should be noted that everyone, including the debate moderators, giggled a lot during this discussion. It should also be noted that city health officials take the condom issue seriously.

Also during the debate, the candidates sparred about the city’s stop-and-frisk policy.

When asked whether their opinion of the police department’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice would change if their own children were stopped, the candidates still agreed on its merits for the most part.

Catsimatidis said he would ask his son what he was doing to get stopped, while Lhota said he would go over the protocol with his daughter.

“My son John isn’t going to get stopped,” McDonald said. “That’s the whole point.”

The whole debate can be viewed here.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…