Eric Adams: GOP rival Curtis Sliwa 'has been a leading voice of being a racist'

Adams denounced his mayoral opponent several times at Election Day nears. Photo credit Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- With under a month until Election Day in New York City, Eric Adams took direct aim at his Republican opponent, calling him a "racist" who has made a "circus" of the election.

Adams was asked on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” about accusations of systemic racism in the FDNY and NYPD, and how Sliwa has seen it as cases of “bad apples” within the ranks.

“It’s difficult for Curtis to talk about the systemic racism because he has been a leading voice of being a racist,” said Adams. “It’s a challenge for him to address something that’s systemic, I’m not afraid to point out where systemic racism exists.”

Adams’ interview followed Sliwa’s appearance on the same show, where he attempted to draw attention to Adams’ connections to Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic and homophobic leader of the Nation of Islam.

Adams said his connection to Farrakhan were solely in wanting the city to look at certain crime-fighting methods, but nothing beyond that. He added that his positive connection to the city’s Jewish and LGBTQ community is well known.

The former NYPD officer said it was quite the transition from the primary race to the general election, saying that there he had legitimate discussions with his fellow Democrats, in comparison to Sliwa's "antics."

“It’s challenging for me to engage in a conversation with a person who acknowledged that they made up stories about crime so that they could get popularity. Is doing antics everyday during a serious time … we’re going to have to endure the antics of a person who thinks this is a circus for the next four weeks. Can we take Curtis Sliwa serious on anything based on his history in this city?” Adams said.

In response, Sliwa sent out a campaign email deriding Adams' claims, and pointing to other times he's made similar allegations.

"Throughout his career, one thing was always certain about Eric Adams -- if you disagree with him, you are branded a 'racist,'" the Sliwa email said, pointing to allegations of racism Adams made against Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia when they teamed up in the primary race.

Sliwa said the accusations "don't work," saying while he's in the "streets" Adams is in the "suites" like the Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard.

Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, said as the race hits crunch time he’s still sticking to his unorthodox schedule.

“I’ve been up at 5 a.m., meditating, doing my breathing exercises … going to bed at 2 a.m. Nothing has stopped,” said Adams.

Adams has kept a lower profile in the closing weeks of campaigning to take over for Bill de Blasio. But the strong words for his Republican opponent have continued.

“We need a serious person to deal with serious problems in our city,” Adams told WCBS 880.

A core issue for Adams has been gun violence, arguing the poor condition of the city’s public housing is leading to more violence.

“NYCHA has failed and the management is an embarrassment,” said Adams.

Meanwhile, Sliwa has held regular events, including one tracking across the George Washington Bridge to Fort Lee, New Jersey, highlighting questions about where Adams actually resides.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images