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Bill de Blasio officially launches 2020 presidential campaign

Bill de Blasio officially launches 2020 presidential campaign

Postby smix » Thu May 16, 2019 4:23 pm

Bill de Blasio officially launches 2020 presidential campaign
New York Post

URL: https://nypost.com/2019/05/16/bill-de-b ... -campaign/
Category: Politics
Published: May 16, 2019

Description: He’s late — again. After nearly half a year of hemming and hawing, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday entered the 2020 presidential race, becoming the 23rd Democrat to join the jam-packed field. The termed-out politician, known for his habitual tardiness, finally decided to run after five months of toying with a White House bid.

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“I’m Bill de Blasio and I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first,” the mayor said in a three-minute YouTube video announcing his candidacy. The opening shots include de Blasio zipping around the city in the back of an SUV — his gas-guzzling choice of transportation for the 11-mile jaunt from Gracie Mansion to the gym in Park Slope. “Good thing about New Yorkers is they look the same whether they’re really pissed off at you or they like you,” the mayor quips. He details his “Working People First” slogan by touting his policy initiatives including pre-K for all, paid sick leave and boosting the minimum wage to $15 an hour. First lady Chirlane McCray also makes an appearance to briefly plug her mental health agenda. “Everything begins with being healthy and there is no health without mental health,” she says. Then, as the White House flashes on the screen to dramatic music, de Blasio pivots to a national message. “Don’t back down in the face of the bully — take him on,” he says. “As president, I will take on the wealthy, I will take on the big corporations, I will not rest until this government serves working people.” He also vows to fight President Trump head-on. “Donald Trump must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before and I’ll do it again,” de Blasio says. Insiders initially thought de Blasio would announce his national campaign the week of his 58th birthday on May 8, but he delayed. “So you’re still deciding?” NY1’s Errol Louis asked the mayor on May 6. “Yes indeed,” the dithering mayor said. Local political experts can’t fathom what prompted the mayor to take the plunge. “It’s really hard to understand what lane de Blasio plans to ride to the nomination,” said David Birdsell, dean of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at CUNY’s Baruch College. What’s more, people just don’t like him, polls show. De Blasio has the dubious distinction of being the only candidate or potential candidate out of 23 contenders to earn a negative rating among national Democrats in a March Monmouth University survey. A total of 24 percent gave him a thumbs down while just 18 percent had a favorable view of him. At home, the numbers are even worse. A staggering 76 percent of Big Apple voters don’t think he should run, according to an April Quinnipiac University Poll. Since de Blasio was elected the 109th mayor in 2013 on a “Tale of Two Cities” platform, he’s disappointed many of the liberals who put him in office. The city’s long-struggling Housing Authority collapsed under the weight of a lead-poisoning scandal, culminating in a federal lawsuit alleging a massive cover-up of toxic living conditions and a repair bill that hit an eye-watering $32 billion in 2018. De Blasio was forced to accept federal oversight of NYCHA to settle a lawsuit brought by Manhattan federal prosecutors and has embraced the partial privatization — once an anathema — as one way to pay for renovations at many of its 325 projects. While NYCHA rotted, the city’s homelessness crisis ballooned. Roughly 60,000 New Yorkers are now living on the streets, while the administration struggles to battle back neighborhood opposition to new homeless shelters. Continuing probes alleged pay-to-play schemes have dogged de Blasio’s mayoralty. The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics is still investigating his shuttered Campaign For One New York, a nonprofit that folded in 2016 after taking in $4.3 million to promote his pet projects, including pre-K expansion. De Blasio ducked federal and state charges in 2017 after he was accused of handing out favors in exchange for donations to his political group. But the city Department of Investigation concluded in 2018 that the mayor hit up individuals and companies with matters pending before city agencies to fill the coffers of the Campaign For One New York. And the corruption claims linger. City Comptroller Scott Stringer has subpoenaed the mayor for information about a $173 million real estate deal with developers Stuart and Jay Podolsky, who are represented by politically connected Brooklyn attorney Frank Carone. The city paid the Podolskys $30 million above the appraised price for 21 buildings in the Bronx and Brooklyn to create more affordable housing. Carone donated $5,000 to de Blasio’s Fairness PAC last fall. The mayor has defended the price tag, saying it was cheaper than taking the properties by eminent domain. He’s also said there was nothing wrong with accepting Carone’s cash because it was cleared by his lawyers. The scandal will likely follow de Blasio on the campaign trail, where he’d rather talk up his progressive message of free pre-K and paid sick leave. They’re the two shining examples from his time at City Hall. Before he took office in 2013, there were under 20,000 city kids in public pre-kindergarten. Now 70,000 4-year-olds are enrolled in the free program. In March 2014, he signed a bill requiring city employers to give up to five paid sick days to their workers each year. De Blasio has laid some groundwork for the campaign — talking to small crowds in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. He spoke to 20 people in Concord, New Hampshire, in March and just nine in Pahrump, Nevada, in April. He heads to Iowa and South Carolina again this weekend. He doesn’t have much time to convince would-be voters why he’s the one to take on Trump. The first Democratic debate is in Miami on June 26 and 27. De Blasio may not even qualify for the debate because his poll numbers don’t meet the 1 percent threshold. History is also not on de Blasio’s side. “There are reasons why mayors of New York City haven’t done well in national politics and that’s because people don’t associate with their problems with those problems,” said Birdsell, the CUNY dean. The checkered past goes back to 1812, when New York City Mayor DeWitt Clinton lost to incumbent James Madison. John Lindsay’s 1972 White House bid petered out during the primaries, and Rudy Giuliani came up short in 2008. The mayor must spend time bulking up his campaign team. His Fairness PAC, which has organized his recent out-of-state visits, currently has a largely volunteer, skeleton staff. It’s led by Jon Paul Lupo, who took a leave from his city position as director of intergovernmental affairs and is using vacation days to work on the PAC. Deputy press secretary Olivia Lapeyrolerie and deputy director of executive operations Alexandra Kopel are also using leave and their time off to boost the mayor’s 2020 bid. Former top aide Mike Casca, who’d worked on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ previous presidential run, first left City Hall for the PAC, then cut ties with de Blasio altogether earlier this month. Finally, the mayor’s longtime press secretary, Eric Phillips, decamped for the private sector in April.



De Blasio visited Communist USSR in college
New York Post

URL: https://nypost.com/2013/11/03/de-blasio ... n-college/
Category: Politics
Published: November 3, 2013

Description: Hope those Ukraine girls really knocked him out. Bill de Blasio toured parts of the communist Soviet Union as the Cold War raged, The Post has learned. The Democratic mayoral candidate — who is enjoying a huge lead over Republican Joe Lhota coming into Tuesday’s election — was “back in the USSR” in 1983 while a student at NYU.

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It was the same year that President Ronald Reagan referred to the country’s regime as “The Evil Empire.” De Blasio’s trip also occurred five years before he went to Nicaragua in support of the Marxist Sandinista regime there to distribute food and medicine during its civil war. At the time, the US government opposed the Sandinistas, which had received weapons from the Soviets and supplies from Cuba. The trips show de Blasio’s fascination as a young man with the workings of leftist and communist countries. He also honeymooned in Cuba. While de Blasio has discussed and defended his work in Nicaragua, he has said nary a word about going behind the Iron Curtain. De Blasio listed the trip on a résumé from the 1990s. Under “travel,” he said he visited “West Africa, Europe, Israel, Puerto Rico, USSR.” A de Blasio campaign spokeswoman confirmed that her boss went to the United Soviet Socialist Republic as a student in 1983. “When he was a presidential scholar at NYU, Bill attended an annual trip that took him to Lithuania and Russia. In other years, he traveled — along with other presidential scholars — to Spain, Israel and Senegal,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Lis Smith. “He went in 1983, when they were still a part of the USSR.” The de Blasio campaign declined to comment further when asked why he went on the trip or what he learned from it. The campaign referred other questions to NYU about who paid for and arranged the trips. An NYU spokesman had no immediate comment. De Blasio’s trip to the USSR came amid frayed relations between the United States and the Soviets near the Cold War’s end. In 1980, at the behest of President Jimmy Carter, the United States boycotted the Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the year prior. Carter also suspended wheat shipments to the USSR. Carter curbed US exchange programs with the Soviets, too. In retaliation, the USSR boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In the same year de Blasio toured the USSR, Reagan gave his famous “Evil Empire” speech. He particularly blasted Americans seeking a reduction in nuclear arms. The Soviets “preach the supremacy of the state, dictate its omnipotence over individual man and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth. They are the focus of evil in the modern world,” Reagan said in his March 8, 1983, speech to the National Association of Evangelicals. “So, in your discussions of the nuclear-freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.” De Blasio has been involved with anti-nuke groups, including being an organizer for the Physicians for Social Responsibility. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that relations thawed between the United States and Soviet Union during Reagan’s second term and after Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the Soviet premier. In 1986, the United States and USSR announced an agreement increasing cultural, scientific and educational exchange programs. And they cut a historic deal to scale back their nukes. A few years later, the Soviet Union collapsed, bringing long-awaited freedoms to Russia and many Eastern Bloc countries.
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De Blasio Worked for Sandinistas, Honeymooned in Cuba

Postby smix » Thu May 16, 2019 4:50 pm

De Blasio Worked for Sandinistas, Honeymooned in Cuba
Newsmax

URL: https://www.newsmax.com/Politics/deblas ... id/527225/
Category: Politics
Published: September 23, 2013

Description: New York City Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio spent time as a left-wing supporter and activist for Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista party at a time when the Reagan administration characterized it as "tyrannical" and "Communist." He also honeymooned in Cuba in violation of the United States' ban on travel to the Caribbean Communist stronghold, The New York Times reported Monday. The revelations immediately sparked outrage from Joe Lhota, de Blasio's Republican opponent in November's election. "It’s pretty obvious we think very, very differently about the way the governments of the world should work and the way the people should interact with their government," said Lhota when asked about the Times piece. "Quite honestly, there are words that I don’t like to use, but in his own words he called himself a Democratic socialist. It’s really unfortunate that that’s the level that we’ve come to in this city." De Blasio was 26 when he went to Nicaragua in 1988, during Daniel Ortega's first term as president. He traveled to the western city of Masaya to help distribute food and medicine during the conflict with the contras, reported the Times. He later returned to Maryland to work for the Quixote Center, a group that shipped food, clothing, and supplies to the country, often to Sandinista families. "My work was based on trying to create a more fair and inclusive world," he said in a recent interview, according to the Times. "I have an activist's desire to improve people's lives." De Blasio was twice arrested during rallies against United States foreign policy that were held in the Washington area, the Times reports. He later moved to New York where he helped raise funds for the Sandinistas as a volunteer for the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York. He worked alongside peace activists, Democrats, Marxists, and anarchists to continue to highlight the cause in Central America after the Sandinistas lost power in 1990. His interest in revolutionary Latin American politics even extended to his honeymoon destination following his 1994 marriage to former admitted lesbian Chirlane McCray, the Times reports. That decision, too, was blasted by Lhota. "Going to Cuba illegally is never a good thing in this country," he said. The Times reports that de Blasio, who studied Latin American politics at Columbia University, continues to be interested in Latin America and speaks with admiration of the Sandinistas' campaign. "They had a youthful energy and idealism mixed with a human ability and practicality that was really inspirational," he said in a recent interview, according to the newspaper, though he is critical of the party's attempts to crack down on dissent, saying the revolutionary leaders were "not free enough by any stretch of the imagination."
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A Mayoral Hopeful Now, de Blasio Was Once a Young Leftist

Postby smix » Thu May 16, 2019 5:03 pm

A Mayoral Hopeful Now, de Blasio Was Once a Young Leftist
The New York Times

URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/nyre ... ftist.html
Category: Politics
Published: September 22, 2013

Description: The scruffy young man who arrived in Nicaragua in 1988 stood out. He was tall and sometimes goofy, known for his ability to mimic a goose’s honk. He spoke in long, meandering paragraphs, musing on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karl Marx and Bob Marley. He took painstaking notes on encounters with farmers, doctors and revolutionary fighters. Bill de Blasio, then 26, went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government. As he seeks to become the next mayor of New York City, Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, has spoken only occasionally about his time as a fresh-faced idealist who opposed foreign wars, missile defense systems and apartheid in the late 1980s and early 1990s. References to his early activism have been omitted from his campaign Web site. But a review of hundreds of pages of records and more than two dozen interviews suggest his time as a young activist was more influential in shaping his ideology than previously known, and far more political than typical humanitarian work. Mr. de Blasio, who studied Latin American politics at Columbia and was conversational in Spanish, grew to be an admirer of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party, thrusting himself into one of the most polarizing issues in American politics at the time. The Reagan administration denounced the Sandinistas as tyrannical and Communist, while their liberal backers argued that after years of dictatorship, they were building a free society with broad access to education, land and health care. Today, Mr. de Blasio is critical of the Sandinistas’ crackdown on dissenters, but said he learned from his time trying to help the Central American country. “My work was based on trying to create a more fair and inclusive world,” he said in a recent interview. “I have an activist’s desire to improve people’s lives.” Mr. de Blasio became an ardent supporter of the Nicaraguan revolutionaries. He helped raise funds for the Sandinistas in New York and subscribed to the party’s newspaper, Barricada, or Barricade. When he was asked at a meeting in 1990 about his goals for society, he said he was an advocate of “democratic socialism.” Now, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, describes himself as a progressive. He has campaigned for mayor as a liberal firebrand who would set out to reduce inequality in the city by offering more help to poor families and asking wealthy residents to pay more in taxes. He said that seeing the efforts of the Sandinistas up close strengthened his view that government should protect and enhance the lives of the poor. “It was very affecting for me,” Mr. de Blasio said of his work with Nicaraguans, in a recent interview. “They were in their own humble way, in this small country, trying to figure out what would work better.”
An Epiphany Abroad
The roots of Mr. de Blasio’s progressive brand of politics lie in the shadows of volcanoes, thousands of miles from the city he now hopes to lead, at a decaying health clinic in Masaya, a small Nicaraguan city. Mr. de Blasio, bearded, gawky and cerebral, had arrived in the city as part of a 10-day tour of Nicaragua in 1988, the capstone of the year he spent as an employee of the Quixote Center, a social justice group in Maryland. The center, founded by Catholic leaders, officially did not take sides in the Nicaraguan dispute, though much of its aid went to help families sympathetic to the Sandinistas. And its work was intensely political. One of the center’s leaders once likened American efforts in Nicaragua to a “policy of terrorism,” and its harshest critics accused it of hewing to a Marxist agenda. In the mid-1980s, the Treasury Department investigated whether the center had helped smuggle guns, but the claim was never substantiated, and the group’s leaders said the inquiry was politically motivated. At the time, gunshots and protest songs permeated the Nicaraguan air as the Sandinistas waged war with the contras, a counterrevolutionary movement backed by the United States. The Sandinista slogan declared, “Free homeland or death!” American leaders feared that the Sandinistas, who received weapons from the Soviet Union and supplies from Cuba, would set off a socialist movement across Latin America. But the United States’ decision to intervene in Nicaragua was unpopular, especially after it was revealed that the Reagan administration had covertly financed the contra rebellion, even after Congress had voted to cut off assistance to the fighters. The involvement of the United States galvanized activists across the country who saw parallels to Vietnam. Tens of thousands of Americans — medical workers, religious volunteers, antiwar activists — flocked to Nicaragua hoping to offset the effects of an economic embargo imposed by the United States. Many were drawn to the idea of creating a new, more egalitarian society. Critics, however, said they were gullible and had romanticized their mission — more interested in undermining the efforts of the Reagan administration than helping the poor. At the health clinic in Masaya, Mr. de Blasio had an epiphany, he recalled. It came in the form of a map posted on the wall, which showed the precise location of every family in town. The doctors used it as a blueprint for door-to-door efforts to spread the word about the importance of immunizations and hygiene. The idea was simple, but Mr. de Blasio saw it as a symbol of what a robust government, extremely attuned to community needs, could achieve. “There was something I took away from that — how hands-on government has to be, how proactive, how connected to the people it must be,” he said.
Overseeing Aid Efforts
Communists, traitors, radicals: Many epithets were leveled against the American supporters of the revolutionary Nicaraguan government. “The United States was doing something illegal and immoral, and our struggle was to end that,” said Dolly Pomerleau, a founder of the Quixote Center. In 1987, Mr. de Blasio was hired as a political organizer, soon after he finished graduate school at Columbia, earning $12,000 a year. He worked inside the Quixote Center’s Maryland office, converted apartments filled with homegrown squash and peace posters. Hunched over his desk with a phone to his ear — his colleagues likened him to “Big Bird with a beard” — he oversaw efforts to solicit and ship millions of dollars in food, clothing and supplies to Nicaragua. He also proved to be a skilled provocateur, twice being arrested during rallies against United States foreign policy that were held in the Washington area. It was not the first time Mr. de Blasio had dabbled in political protest. Growing up in Cambridge, Mass., he had spoken out as a high school student against the spread of nuclear power. As an undergraduate at New York University, he was a co-founder of a coalition to push for greater financial transparency and more student feedback at the school. Mr. de Blasio traces his idealism in part to his parents, who were both intellectuals with activist streaks. His mother was a writer and union member, and his father, an economist, had led an effort to push for higher wages for maids as a student at Yale. His parents were shaken during World War II, when his mother, then working at the Office of War Information in New York, was accused of being a Communist for attending a concert featuring a Soviet band. Mr. de Blasio said his mother’s troubles left him with “a sense of not being paralyzed in the face of injustice, not accepting a lie and being scared because of the popularity of a lie.” Later, when his mother began to have doubts about her plan to write a book about the Italian resistance, focused on themes of social upheaval, it was Mr. de Blasio who made sure she finished it.
Committed to a Cause
After more than a year in the trenches at the Quixote Center, Mr. de Blasio had begun to miss the round-the-clock rhythms and Italian food of New York City. So he took a job in the city at a nonprofit organization focused on an area he knew well — improving health care in Central America — and, shortly thereafter, joined the mayoral campaign of David N. Dinkins. His activism did not stop. In the cramped Lower Manhattan headquarters of the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York, where he volunteered, Mr. de Blasio learned to cause a stir. He and a ragtag team of peace activists, Democrats, Marxists and anarchists attempted to bring attention to a Central American cause that, after the Sandinistas lost power in a 1990 election, was fading from public view. “The Nicaraguan struggle is our struggle,” said a poster designed by the group. The activists tried everything: brandishing George H. W. Bush masks on subway cars, advertising parties to celebrate the Cuban revolution and hawking subscriptions to the international edition of Barricada. (Mr. de Blasio, who was living in a basement apartment in Astoria, Queens, was one of the first to sign up.) Despite some debate over whether it should support only humanitarian causes, the Nicaragua Solidarity Network held dances to benefit the Sandinista party. “They gave a new definition to democracy,” Mr. de Blasio told The New York Times in 1990 in an article about the wistful reaction of American activists to the defeat of the Sandinistas. “They built a democracy that was striving to be economic and political, that pervaded all levels in society.” At a retreat later that year, members of the network were asked to articulate their visions for society. One suggested a “real peace movement,” according to minutes of the meeting. “Rewards for altruism,” another said. Mr. de Blasio suggested “democratic socialism.” In a recent interview, Mr. de Blasio said his views then — and now — represented a mix of admiration for European social democratic movements, Mr. Roosevelt’s New Deal and liberation theology. Mr. de Blasio remained supportive of the Sandinistas, often referred to by their acronym, F.S.L.N., even after they lost power. “People who had shallow party sympathies with the F.S.L.N. pretty much dropped everything when they lost,” said Jane Guskin, a fellow activist in the solidarity group. “Bill wasn’t like that.” He has remained interested in Latin America — he even honeymooned in Cuba (in violation of a United States travel ban). To this day, he speaks admiringly of the Sandinistas’ campaign, noting advances in literacy and health care. “They had a youthful energy and idealism mixed with a human ability and practicality that was really inspirational,” he said. But Mr. de Blasio said he was also not blind to the party’s imperfections. He said the revolutionary leaders were “not free enough by any stretch of the imagination,” pointing to their efforts to crack down on dissent by shuttering newspapers and radio stations.
A Shift in Focus
By the beginning of 1990, Mr. de Blasio had a foot in two worlds — government official by day, activist by night. He was becoming a part of the institution he had railed against — the establishment — as a low-level aide to Mr. Dinkins in City Hall. On the side, he helped raise funds for the Nicaragua Solidarity Network and forge alliances between New York and Nicaraguan labor unions. Mr. de Blasio’s answering machine greetings in those days seemed to reflect a search for meaning. Every few weeks, he recorded a new message, incorporating a quote to reflect his mood — a passage from classic literature, lyrics from a song or stanzas of a poem. Increasingly, he was distressed by what he saw as “timidity” in the Democratic Party, as it moved to the political center in the dawning of the Clinton era, and he thought the government should be doing more to help low-income workers and maintain higher tax rates. In 1991, at one of his final meetings with the Nicaragua Solidarity Network, he argued that the liberal values the group had defended were “far from dead” around the world, with blossoming movements in places like Mexico, the Philippines, El Salvador and Brazil, according to minutes of the meeting. He spoke of a need to understand and build alliances with Islam, predicting it would soon be a dominant force in politics. Over time, he became more focused on his city job, and using the tools of government to effect change. The answering machine messages stopped changing. He no longer attended meetings about Nicaragua. His friends in the solidarity movement were puzzled. At a meeting early in 1992, Mr. de Blasio was marked absent. A member scribbled a note next to his name: “Must be running for office.”
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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio becomes 24th Democrat to seek White House

Postby smix » Thu May 16, 2019 7:11 pm

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio becomes 24th Democrat to seek White House
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1SM100
Category: Politics
Published: May 16, 2019

Description: NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio entered the crowded 2020 presidential race on Thursday, arguing that his record of progressive accomplishments in the country’s biggest city positioned him as the perfect foil to President Donald Trump. De Blasio, 58, launched his candidacy with the central campaign message, “Working People First,” becoming the 24th Democrat seeking to take on Trump in next year’s election. In a video released on Thursday, de Blasio returned to the theme of income inequality that had animated his first mayoral campaign in 2013, when he emerged as a leading voice for the burgeoning left wing that has since reshaped his party. “People in every part of this country feel stuck or even like they’re going backwards,” he said in the video. “But the rich got richer.”

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The mayor, who is barred from seeking a third four-year term in 2021, has struggled to build a national profile, eclipsed in the national consciousness by progressive U.S. senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, now his rivals for the presidency. He will campaign this weekend in Iowa and South Carolina, which host key early nominating contests. De Blasio emphasized a list of progressive wins under his leadership, including universal pre-kindergarten, the end of the policing practice known as stop-and-frisk and paid sick leave, all in a city that has a bigger population, more than 8 million, than most U.S. states. “We are the safest big city in America,” he told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. “We have the most jobs we’ve ever had. We have the highest graduation rates from our schools that we’ve ever had...these are not words, these are deeds.” He promised to stand up to Trump, a fellow New Yorker, calling him a “bully” and a “con artist.” “I’m going to keep calling him ‘Con Don,’ because that’s what he deserves to be called,” de Blasio said. In typical fashion, Trump hit back on Twitter, calling de Blasio “the worst mayor in the U.S.” “He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man,” Trump said in a tweet. “NYC HATES HIM!” De Blasio is the third New York City mayor in a row to flirt with a presidential bid. Former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who left office in 2001 and is Trump’s personal lawyer and close confidant, ran unsuccessfully for president in 2008. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has seriously considered running several times, both as an independent and a Democrat. In March, the billionaire announced he would not seek the White House.
BLASE ABOUT DE BLASIO
Most New Yorkers appear unenthusiastic about de Blasio’s presidential aspirations. A Quinnipiac University poll in April found more than three-quarters of New Yorkers did not feel he should make a White House bid.

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De Blasio faces an uphill battle to stand out in a crowded field that includes former Vice President Joe Biden and a long list of experienced politicians. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday found 1 percent of Americans supporting de Blasio for president. “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,” he said when asked about his poll numbers. Like Biden, de Blasio is a white heterosexual man running in a party that values diversity. But he has consistently polled well among African-Americans in New York and he is married to a black woman, Chirlane McCray, a poet and activist who describes her sexual orientation as fluid. His popularity took a hit after a federal investigation found the mayor made inquiries to city agencies on behalf of donors, though it cleared him of criminal wrongdoing. De Blasio has denied any misconduct. De Blasio has sharply criticized Trump on issues like climate change, immigration and policing. On Monday, he held a news conference inside Trump Tower to call on the Trump Organization to meet newly enacted emissions standards in their skyscrapers, or face significant fines. The event drew insults on Twitter from Trump’s two oldest sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who run the family company.



Democrat de Blasio apologizes for Che Guevara phrase in Miami
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1TS3FL
Category: Politics
Published: June 27, 2019

Description: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio apologized on Thursday for unwittingly quoting Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a Marxist revolutionary reviled by many Cuban-Americans for helping Fidel Castro come to power in Cuba. The New York City mayor, fresh off a solid showing in Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, used the Spanish phrase “hasta la victoria siempre” (“to victory, always”) in Miami as he addressed striking airport workers, who cheered him heartily. Local Democrats, including the chairwoman of the state party, promptly criticized his use of the phrase and called for an apology. “Quoting a murderer responsible for death & oppression in communist Cuba and throughout Latin America is not acceptable. Please apologize. Many on strike are Cuban btw,” Florida state Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez wrote in a Twitter post. De Blasio explained the misstep on Twitter. “I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way,” he wrote. “I certainly apologize for not understanding that history.” Born in Argentina in 1928, Guevara became a Marxist after a motorcycle ride through South America opened his eyes to poverty when he was still a medical student. He subsequently joined Castro’s revolutionary movement, which led to the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Guevara is a hated figure to many in the large Cuban exile community in South Florida, a traditionally conservative Republican voting bloc that gradually has been opening up to Democrats. More than half of Florida’s Cuban Latinos supported Republican President Donald Trump in 2016. Republicans pounced on the gaffe. Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump’s re-election campaign, said “quoting murderous communist sociopaths” probably meant de Blasio was losing. Florida’s former governor, U.S. Senator Rick Scott, said on Twitter: “In case there was any doubt about the Democrats running for President embracing socialism, @BilldeBlasio is in Miami quoting ... Che Guevara. You can’t make this up.”
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Tucker Carlson: De Blasio is running for president and has no idea what an idiot he is. Try to stay amused

Postby smix » Sat May 18, 2019 2:44 am

Tucker Carlson: De Blasio is running for president and has no idea what an idiot he is. Try to stay amused
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker- ... tay-amused
Category: Politics
Published: May 17, 2019

Description: If a man runs for president, but nobody supports him, is it really a presidential campaign? That's a philosophical question, obviously. But it's also suddenly a very practical concern for Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York. De Blasio announced Thursday that after years of destroying the nation's largest city, he'd very much like to do the same thing to America. In his announcement video, he said the following: "There's plenty of money in this world. There's plenty of money in this country. It's just in the wrong hands. I'm a New Yorker. I've known Trump is a bully for a long time. This is not news to me or anyone else here, and I know how to take them on. Donald Trump must be stopped. I've beaten him before, and I will do it again ... I'm Bill de Blasio and I'm running for president because it's time we put working people first."

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Well, spoiler alert: Bill de Blasio is never going to be the president of the United States. He is dumb. He is unpopular. He is almost comically incompetent. He is exactly the kind of person who should not be smoking a lot of marijuana, but apparently is anyway. That's Bill de Blasio. The good news is, he is also kind of entertaining, if you don't have to live in his city. So, while we still can, sit back and enjoy the buffoonery. There's a lot of it. It began Thursday with de Blasio's announcement video in which he pledged to fight for working people while being driven by a chauffeur around the streets of New York. Even CNN, which has been happy to promote transparent phoneys like Kirsten Gillibrand and Pete Buttigieg, was not impressed. "There's a palpable lack of excitement in the streets of New York. Three quarters of New Yorkers don't want him to run," said John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst. "One of the big problems of Bill de Blasio is he is not showing up to work. He comes in late. He doesn't come in at all. He seems utterly disinterested in the job of running America's largest big city. Again, this is somebody who has been underwater often in the polls in a city that's 6 to 1 Democrat." So if you're Bill de Blasio, this has got to hurt. It stings. CNN was supposed to be a critical ally in this race. Unfortunately, CNN is based in New York City, and that means its employees know exactly how incompetent their mayor is. They have to wade through piles of garbage to get to work every morning. MSNBC is headquartered in New York City, too. And you can tell from the way they covered de Blasio's announcement. One New Yorker they interviewed said de Blasio should have announced he was running on April 1, so that people would think it was an April Fool's Day joke. Ouch. At this point, if you personally are excited for a Bill de Blasio presidency, please let his campaign know. You're likely qualified for a paid staff position. The whole effort is so obviously doomed, everyone knows it, including, you'd think, Mrs. de Blasio. So why is de Blasio running for president? Well, the same reason he ran for mayor of New York -- narcissism. Bill de Blasio represents the worst strain of American liberalism -- smug, arrogant, utterly hypocritical and lacking in self-awareness. This is the man who announced his own Green Deal, but then took a helicopter to the gym. This is a guy who sends cops into the subway to shoot homeless people out of the way before he rides it, but then lets the city drown in trash. He demands you stop eating hot dogs because they're bad, but then promotes smoking weed. Bill de Blasio is the only person in New York who has no idea what an idiot Bill de Blasio is. He is totally mediocre, but completely self-confident. It's an amazing combination. Less rare than you'd think, unfortunately. Bill de Blasio is not going to be president, but he will be on television for a while. Our advice: Try to stay amused.
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