The Democratic frontrunner in the race for mayor of New York City has been running a “class-warfare and racist” campaign, according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I).
In an interview with New York Magazine published on Saturday, Bloomberg accused the city’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, of shoving his family into the limelight in order to gain support from non-white voters.
“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,” Boomberg told the magazine. “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.”
In recent weeks, he has prominently featured his family at campaign stops and in video spots.
Among those are a video in which his son, appealing directly to the camera, said that de Blasio is “the only one who will end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color.” The controversial law enforcement technique was a hallmark of Bloomberg’s administration. It has been criticized by some liberals, and a federal judge declared last month that it was discriminatory.
De Blasio has led the Democratic field in polling of late, surging ahead of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former Comptroller Bill Thompson and former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who has slid towards the bottom of the pack.
Recent polls show that de Blasio is hovering near the 40 percent threshold that he would need to achieve to avoid a runoff.
New York City’s Democratic primary will be held on Tuesday.