CNN’s Jeff Zucker Hints at Run for Office: NYC Needs ‘Strong Mayor in the Aftermath of This’

Jeff Zucker, Chairman, WarnerMedia News and Sports and President, CNN Worldwide listens in the spin room after the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker is teasing a bid for mayor of New York City as the Big Apple and cities around the country are experiencing mass protests and rioting over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In an interview with the New York Times published Saturday, Zucker was asked if he is open to running in next year’s New York City mayoral race.

“New York City is going to need a very strong mayor in the aftermath of this, and I always like a challenge,” the corporate media chief replied.

This is not the first instance Zucker has expressed interest in running for public office.

In December 2018, Zucker told Obama political strategist David Axelrod on his podcast that politics could be in his future.

“I don’t know for sure where I’ll be but here’s the two things I do know: if the Miami Dolphins call, that’s where I’ll be,” Zucker said when asked where he envisions himself in five years. “And number two, look I still harbor somewhere in my gut that I’m still very interested in politics… I’m still interested in [running for office] and it’s something I would consider.”

Zucker’s comments come as New York City reels from demonstrations and violence that left NYPD police vehicles burned and led to hundreds of arrests.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had no plans to impose a curfew Sunday despite many other major U.S. cities, and smaller cities throughout the state, preparing to enforce them again.

De Blasio said city police showed “tremendous restraint overall” during the weekend’s protests, but he said was concerned about video showing two police cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators on a Brooklyn street. He was appointing two city officials to conduct an independent review of how the protests unfolded and how they were handled by the police.

“We all better get back to the humanity here,” de Blasio said at a briefing. “The protesters are human beings. They need to be treated with tremendous respect. The police officers are human beings. They need to be treated with tremendous respect.”

The largely peaceful protests around the city Saturday gave way to scattered clashes between police and protesters later in the evening. Demonstrators smashed shop windows, threw objects at officers, torched and battered police vehicles and blocked roads. Graffiti was scrawled on Manhattan’s famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

New York City police said 345 people were arrested, 33 officers were injured and 27 police vehicles were damaged. There were no major injuries reported. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said some peaceful demonstrations were “hijacked” by a small number of people with violent intent.

The AP contributed to this report.

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