"I Wasn't Even Here": Portland Mayor Gives Unacceptable Excuses for His Leadership Failures on Antifa Violence

Antifa assaults independent journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, OR. - 6/29/19. Screenshot from The Oregonian.

Antifa assaults independent journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, OR. – 6/29/19. Screenshot from The Oregonian.

Portland, OR Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) has faced a wave of criticism the last couple of years over the rise in Antifa violence that on some weekends has turned the city into what looks like a war zone.


That criticism intensified in the aftermath of the vicious Antifa attack against independent journalist Andy Ngo on June 29th. Ngo was beaten up and milkshaked, suffering head injuries that will require ongoing medical treatment and various therapies.

Wheeler sat down for an interview this week with Oregon’s Fox 12 and acknowledged that “the game plan we’ve been using up to this point is no longer effective.” He also gave some of the most embarrassing and unacceptable excuses I have ever heard an elected official give for why things are only getting worse in his city on his watch.

First, after being asked about the statement from Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner, who asked the mayor to untie the police’s hands so they could do their jobs, Wheeler pulled an AOC/Squad move by saying the criticism led to threats against him and his team members:

Turner wrote, in part, the mayor needs to “remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action.”

“It definitely lit the powder keg,” Wheeler told FOX 12. “Every one of my team members was threatened by violence.”


In other words, Portland police officers, your criticisms are putting me and my staff in harm’s way. So shut up.

When asked about Sen. Ted Cruz’s blistering criticism of his handling of the violence in the city, here’s what Wheeler said:

Even national figures weighed in on the controversy. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz called for a federal investigation into the mayor’s alleged actions accusing him of allowing citizens to be attacked by “domestic terrorists.”

“I thought it was beneath a United States senator,” Wheeler said. “The truth is, I wasn’t even here. I wasn’t even in the United States. I was with my family in Ecuador on a wildlife tour.”

“I wasn’t even here”? I’m sorry, but that’s just pathetic. This has been an ongoing issue, and the police there have been begging him to let them do their jobs instead of being told to “stand down.” He could have taken the cuffs off of Portland’s officers a long time ago. A long time before that family trip to Ecuador.

Watch Wheeler’s interview below:


He said he’s running for reelection in 2020. Portland hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1980, so the chances of that happening in 2020 are pretty much zero. But at this point, Wheeler’s press is so bad that a Democratic primary challenger just might have a decent chance at defeating him.

Stay tuned.

— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –


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