“People got in this campaign because they want to be the mayor of the District of Columbia,” Gray said. “People like the title. I think they ought to articulate a vision for the District of Columbia. That is what people want to hear. We have a vision,” he said.
The first 60 minutes of the news conference were dedicated to a progress report on the District’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy, launched in November 2012, and his strategy moving forward.
Gray was testy at the podium, a contrast to his usually calm demeanor. When a reporter challenged him to point to specific policies he’d put in place to create job growth, suggesting some came from previous administrations, Gray berated him.
“You are just plain wrong,” he yelled. Responding to a follow-up, Gray said, “I appreciate objectivity, but that is just plain wrong, man. That’s debilitating to say something like that.”
Asked if the tension on display signaled a difficult road ahead, Gray said, “I don’t know. It is the road ahead.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.