Dear Commons Community,
In an interview with New York Magazine, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Bill de Blasio is “using his family to gain support” and that his campaign is racist. Here is the exchange:
New York Magazine Interviewer: Then there’s Bill de Blasio, who’s become the Democratic front-runner. He has in some ways been running a class-warfare campaign—
Bloomberg: Class-warfare and racist.
Bloomberg: Well, no, no, I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.
But his whole campaign is that there are two different cities here. And I’ve never liked that kind of division. The way to help those who are less fortunate is, number one, to attract more very fortunate people. They are the ones that pay the bills. The people that would get very badly hurt here if you drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes to try to help. Tearing people apart with this “two cities” thing doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s a destructive strategy for those you want to help the most. He’s a very populist, very left-wing guy, but this city is not two groups, and if to some extent it is, it’s one group paying for services for the other.
In August, de Blasio released an ad featuring his African-American wife, Chirlane McCray, and his 15-year-old son Dante. In the clip, the teen says his dad “is the only Democrat with the guts to really break from the Bloomberg years.”
It seems to me that most candidates for office use their families in different ways to garner support and votes. Bill Clinton relied on Hillary. Barack Obama on Michelle and his children. Mitt Romney on his wife Anne and his children.
I think Mayor Bloomberg used a poor choice of words or he is desperate and cannot stand the thought that Bill de Blasio who has run basically an anti-Bloomberg campaign, may win the Democratic nomination tomorrow and very possibly could be elected mayor in November.