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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg probably wishes he could take this comment back. In a recent interview, Bloomberg stated that mayoral candidate and NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s campaign is “racist.”

The surely soon to be ex-mayor of New York made the statement in a lengthy interview with New York magazine.

Then there’s Bill de Blasio, who’s become the Democratic front-runner. He has in some ways been running a class-warfare campaign—

Class-warfare and racist.


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.

It’s a shame, because I’ve always thought he was a very smart guy.

Yes, this accusation of racism comes from the same person doing his best to maintain the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy, which a federal judge recently declared was unconstitutional. It’s a policy that has created—much like he accuses de Blasio of manipulating—two cities;  those in favor and against it.

Bloomberg also basically says that de Blasio showing off his Black wife, who he married 20 years ago, and interracial family is racist. It also worth noting that Bloomberg made sure to “point out” his Jewish heritage during past campaigns, as highlighted by Buzzfeed.

Bill de Blasio, and his family, responded to the Mayor’s comments. Reports the New York Daily News:

“I’m exceedingly proud of my family,” de Blasio said with wife Chirlane McCray and daughter Chiara at his side Saturday. “They are each and every one strong and independent and make their own decisions. And we all have proceeded as a family together, and it’s been an extraordinarily positive experience for us. So all I can say is I hope the mayor will reconsider what he said. I hope he’ll realize that it was inappropriate. And I think the people of this city are ready for us to move forward together.”  

“Do I look like an inanimate object or a tool?” McCray asked when de Blasio fielded a question about using the family as a prop, according to Fermino. “I walk, I talk, I make my own decisions.”

Said Chiara: “Everything I do for the campaign is my decision. And I think that, or at least I suspect… 20 years ago my dad did not know he was running for mayor and he did not seek to marry a black woman to put her on display.”

Sounds like Bloomberg just gave de Blasio, who is already beating rivals Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson in the polls, even more votes.

Let us know what you think of Bloomberg’s claims in the comments.

Photo: Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos/New York Magazine