Mayor Bill de Blasio, not far removed from his own failed presidential bid, said on Monday that there was “no way in the world” that his predecessor in City Hall, Michael R. Bloomberg, deserved the Democratic nomination for president.
“This is a Democratic Party today that’s getting more progressive, that wants to address the concerns of working people, that does not accept the status quo,” Mr. de Blasio said. “There’s no way in the world we should nominate a billionaire who epitomizes the status quo.”
Mr. de Blasio portrayed Mr. Bloomberg as being out of touch with current Democratic values, and suggested that Mr. Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure as mayor of New York was a showcase for some of his worst instincts.
“I think when he was mayor he had no understanding of the inequality crisis,” Mr. de Blasio said. “He was absolutely tone-deaf to what working people were going through in this city, and there were a number of other areas where he had a chance to do something and he just did not make it a priority.”
Mr. Bloomberg filed paperwork last week to run in Alabama’s Democratic primary contest. His advisers say he is likely to enter the race, and may employ the risky strategy of skipping the four early primary states to focus on big states that hold later primary elections.
“I can be objective about some of his strengths and weaknesses — I can certainly prefer him over Donald Trump,” Mr. de Blasio said on Monday, when asked about Mr. Bloomberg’s nascent campaign. “But does he represent today’s Democratic Party? Of course not. Not even close.”
He added that his own mayoral victory in 2013 came in large measure because he ran as the anti-Bloomberg.
“Obviously, when I got elected,” Mr. de Blasio said, “I think it was in large measure because people wanted a very, very different approach.”
The mayor’s comments, while consistent with remarks he made during the 2013 campaign, in which he blamed Mr. Bloomberg for turning New York into a “tale of two cities,” are actually a departure from his more recent and more measured stance toward Mr. Bloomberg.
The mayor has offered occasional praise for Mr. Bloomberg’s work on public health initiatives and efforts on gun control and immigration. And he has even given his predecessor credit for starting programs that the de Blasio administration has since expanded, such as selling air rights to fix the city’s decrepit public housing.
Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, declined to comment about Mr. de Blasio’s remarks on Monday.
But Chris Coffey, who worked as a senior official in all three of Mr. Bloomberg’s administrations, was less reluctant to weigh in — and took a potshot at Mr. de Blasio’s penchant for showing up at City Hall well past 9 a.m.
When Mr. Bloomberg was running the city, “New Yorkers knew that the mayor was going to get up at 6:15 a.m. and work really hard for six or seven days a week,” said Mr. Coffey, who leads the New York practice for Tusk Strategies, a political and strategic consulting firm. “We don’t have that now.”
Mr. de Blasio, he added, may owe some of his success to his predecessor, who “put money into rainy day funds and was a good steward of the budget.”
Should Mr. Bloomberg be in need of advice on how to handle criticism of his stop-and-frisk policing policies as he takes steps toward entering the presidential race, he could ask Mr. de Blasio how he dealt with similar attacks.
Mr. de Blasio was protested twice on national television during his run for the 2020 Democratic nomination over his refusal to fire the police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man accused of selling loose cigarettes.
“Mayor de Blasio is right in the sense of what Mayor Bloomberg has done for low-income New Yorkers of color should disqualify him” from becoming president, said Alyssa Aguilera, co-executive director of Vocal-NY, a nonprofit that helps low-income people. “He exacerbated inequality and changed the DNA of the city.”
“But at the same time,” she continued, “Mayor de Blasio said a lot of the right things in the progressive space, but we didn’t see him being bold and taking on the police union and developers. Neither of them should be president.”
The post Bloomberg for President? ‘No Way,’ His Successor Says appeared first on New York Times.