NEW YORK — Wearing a navy blue “Make America Great Again” sweatshirt and dark sunglasses, Katrina Pierson moved through the Election Day crowd on 5th Avenue. Pointed glares, subtle whispers and some audible gasps followed Republican nominee Donald Trump’s national campaign spokeswoman as she headed for Trump Tower.
“I feel good,” she said in a brief interview. “You just can’t trust the polls right now because there’s so many undecided voters that haven’t decided yet. And there’s also a lot of new voters that aren’t showing up in the polls.”
When asked if her candidate would accept the election’s outcome, Pierson smiled and said, “there’s never been a question of whether or not he would accept the results.”
Since the third presidential debate Oct. 19, Trump has repeatedly refused to promise to honor the results of the election, saying he’ll keep voters in “suspense” on Election Day. Those comments — some made as voting began — have earned him bipartisan condemnation.
“I want to see what happens, you know, how it goes,” Trump told Newsradio 610 WTVN on Tuesday morning. “You hear so many horrible stories and you see so many things that are wrong. So we’ll take a look.”
But Pierson sought to tone down her candidate’s comments while leaving open the possibility of contesting returns if the election is close.
“If there’s a definitive answer he’ll concede or accept either way,” she said. “If there’s shenanigans going on then of course we will continue to call that out.”
Both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton arrived Tuesday in New York to vote and attend election festivities. For the first time since 1944, both presidential candidates will hold their Election Night events in midtown Manhattan — less than two miles apart.
Clinton, who has reserved the 1.8 million square-foot Jacob K. Javits Center, will deliver her final remarks just blocks from the New York Hilton Midtown, where Trump has booked space for his “Victory Party.”
Pierson said The Big Apple was personal for Trump, a place upon which he built his legacy. Trump is the son of real estate mogul Fred Trump, who constructed middle-income apartment buildings in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. When Donald Trump took over the family business in 1971, he focused on developing luxury high-rises and hotels.
Mr. Trump has invested so much in this city, in the parks and in the highways,” Pierson said. “He’s a builder of buildings and he’s a builder of people.”
Clinton, who moved to New York in 2000 to run for Senate, also made a name for herself in the Empire State. During her time in office, she aimed to create jobs and fought for health care benefits for first-responders of the 9/11 attacks.
Pierson said there was no tension over the close proximity of the two campaigns’ Election Night headquarters.
“She lives here, too,” she said.