New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday blasted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s run for president, suggesting her fellow Democrat instead focus on solving a host of issues plagues the Big Apple instead of seeking the highest office in the land.
“We need a mayor who’s going to be on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” James said when asked by Pod Save America host Tommy Vietor for her thoughts on de Blasio’s bid for the White House. She then listed a litany off issues still facing New York City, including affordable housing and rising income equality.
“So what is the legacy? What are you running on?” New York state’s chief legal officer then asked. “Has school segregation been addressed? So all of these issues and more—obviously, listen, he can run, he’s the 23rd candidate, I understand that, but the question is why? Por qué? Like, what’s up?”
“But, he’s a friend!” she added, sparking laughter from the audience in Brooklyn.
De Blasio launched a long-shot bid for the White House on Thursday, becoming the latest Democrat to join a crowded primary field.
De Blasio announced his run with a YouTube video released by his campaign. “There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands,” de Blasio said at the start of the clip. “I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first.”
De Blasio’s hometown press has, so far, delighted in disparaging his presidential hopes. “De Blasio for President? ‘Nah,’” read one recent New York Times headline summing up the city’s reaction to his possible candidacy.
“Who hasn’t told Bill de Blasio that he shouldn’t run for president?” asked New York Magazine. The New York Post front page cover features the headline “De Blasio Runs for President” with people laughing while watching television.
The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York joined the press in blasting de Blasio, warning he would be an “unmitigated disaster” if elected president. “While the mayor of our nation’s largest city is busy running around Iowa and getting upstaged by the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, there are real problems here at home. New York City Police officers are continuing to suffer with wages 30% below market rate because the mayor has totally checked out of our contact process.”
After launching his campaign, De Blasio appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, where he criticized President Trump, unveiling a not-so-original nickname for him: The “Con Don.”
“Every New Yorker knows he’s a con artist. We know his tricks. We know his playbook,” de Blasio said. “I know how to take him on — I’ve been watching him for decades. He’s trying to convince working Americans he’s on their side. It’s been a lie from day one.”
President Trump returned fire at the mayor on Twitter, writing: “The Dems are getting another beauty to join their group. Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst mayor in the U.S., will supposedly be making an announcement for president today. He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man. NYC HATES HIM!”
A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 76% of New York City voters say they believe he shouldn’t run.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.