Bill de Blasio may be working already on his victory speech, as well as fundraising for his reelection campaign in 2017, but the mayoral front-runner’s, who promised a change of the Bloomberg era, is already picking up a bit of the current mayor’s grumpy attitude when it comes to the press.
At one of his first government-sponsored press conference since becoming the Democratic nominee,Mr. De Blasio sounded much like the current mayor–who is known for being prickly with reporters–as he took off-topic questions from the press after the announcement, Politicker reports.
When a Wall Street Journal reporter asked Mr. de Blasio specifically what he will do to keep crime down–beyond improving police-community relations and reforming stop-and-frisk–Mr. de Blasio quickly shot back.
“I’ve delineated them incessantly, with all due respect. I would ask people to take a brief look at our platform online if they’d like to see our plans and then ask about those specific plans,” said Mr. de Blasio, towering over Mr. Schneiderman at the podium, with a tinge of condescension in his voice.
Next came a question from a Daily News reporter who pressed Mr. de Blasio to expand on his experiences “at” the Crown Heights riots.
“I wasn’t ‘at’ it … Your article did get that right and I wanted to say–since you said ‘at’–I want to confirm I was not there on the site,” interrupted Mr. de Blasio. The reporter, Greg Smith, clarified he’d meant to say that Mr. de Blasio had been part of the process (he’d worked in Mayor David Dinkins’s administration), but Mr. de Blasio pushed back.
“Greg, with all due respect, I appreciate your article. Again, I’m gonna to be a little bit clear with people who make inaccurate statements. I’m going to address them,” said Mr. de Blasio. “I was in City Hall working on the staff. I did receive calls from concerned community leaders around the city and that’s all … I was not on the site. I came away with very strong views but I did not participate directly. I just need to be crystal clear about that.”
Speaking of the riots, Republican Joe Lhota claimed today that Mr. de Blasio’s experience during the Crown Heights demonstrated that he is ill-prepared to govern the city.
“Dealing with that riot that happened in Crown Heights was an unmitigated failure because information wasn’t given to the people at the top,” Mr. Lhota charged outside a campaign event in Brooklyn today. “Bill de Blasio was given information by people in the community. They’ve all testified to the fact. It stayed there. It stayed there with Bill de Blasio.”