Rather than distract from his day-to-day duties as mayor, Bill de Blasio today argued that his White House run might actually benefit New Yorkers.
“A lot of the problems in New York City cannot be solved just within the five boroughs,” he said on “The Brian Lehrer Show,” calling in from the campaign trail in Iowa.
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“The issues that confront us … in so many ways are federal issues,” de Blasio said, pointing to a lack of investment from the Trump administration in infrastructure, and the need to push initiatives to combat climate change and make coastal areas more resilient. “We have to change the national discussion and we have to get Donald Trump out of office.”
Yet, many observers have expressed worry that the mayor’s run will take his focus off running the city.
Lehrer suggested on-air that the mayor is detached from the daily challenges of local governance and more interested in the national stage, referencing a New York Times column written by a fellow member of the Park Slope YMCA who said that the de Blasio has routinely been arriving for his workouts after 10 a.m., and that he has been spending less time at City Hall.
“That couldn’t be more false,” de Blasio said. He argued that media outlets are willfully ignoring his administration’s accomplishments in early childhood education, a recently passed bill requiring buildings to meet emissions targets, and an initiative that encourages New Yorkers to take advantage of a longstanding policy to obtain medical care regardless of their ability to pay.
De Blasio said that his campaign would be coming up with policy papers that would explore the idea of expanding rent regulation across the country and curtailing competition between states that offer economic incentives to attract companies, such as Amazon.