De Blasio knocks Cuomo debate performance: 'A little desperate'

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Thursday knocked Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s debate performance Wednesday night against primary challenger, actress and activist Cynthia Nixon. 

“I found some of the governor’s counterpoints a little desperate, honestly,” de Blasio said of Cuomo's debate responses while appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

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De Blasio, who is known to have a strained relationship with the governor, has so far not publicly endorsed either candidate. He did, however, take the opportunity on Thursday to praise Nixon.

“There’s no question in my mind Cynthia Nixon is an extraordinary human being, activist, who’s made a huge impact, particularly in terms of education and fairness for our children. I thought she more than held her own last night in the debate, I thought she got a lot of a lot of very powerful ideas out and a lot of very powerful critiques out,” he said.

Cuomo's campaign hit back at DeBlasio.

"As evidenced by the way he approaches governing, we’re not surprised that the Mayor thinks Ms. Nixon has the experience and qualifications to be chief executive,” Cuomo campaign Spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement to The Hill.

“Clearly, he and Ms. Nixon--one of his large donors--have a very close relationship, as evidenced by the access she has had to him as mayor, which allowed her to call in favors for her wealthy friends and costars. Nice to see she can still call in those favors with him today,” she added.

Cuomo and Nixon traded attacks Wednesday night, with Cuomo asking Nixon to not interrupt him and Nixon claiming Cuomo is inadequately resisting Trump. However, their one point of agreement was that neither sought de Blasio’s endorsement when given the chance.

Cuomo is the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination, currently leading Nixon by substantial margins in most polls.

Updated at 5:27 p.m.