De Blasio: ‘I have spent literally six years undoing what Michael Bloomberg did’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called out Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s previous support for stop-and-frisk policing, saying his predecessor as mayor is “out of touch with what Democrats are looking for and talking about right now.”
“This is a guy who really reinforced the status quo every chance he got in New York City, and I have spent literally six years undoing what Michael Bloomberg did, and stop and frisk is one of the most obvious examples, but there’s a lot of others” de Blasio said Monday in an interview with “The Young Turks.”
“With stop and frisk, I can’t tell you how many years people pleaded with Michael Bloomberg. Leaders in the African American and the Latino community said over and over, ‘this was hurting our children.’ This was holding back our communities, creating a rift between police and community.”
Bloomberg endorsed a “very aggressive approach to policing in a country, bluntly, that still is coming to grips with the reality of race-based policing. That is what he encouraged,” de Blasio said in the interview.
Bloomberg apologized for supporting the policy, which had a disproportionate impact on the black and Latino communities, at a historically black church in Brooklyn earlier this month.
“I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives — but as we know: good intentions aren’t good enough,” Bloomberg told the crowd at the Christian Cultural Center in New York.
But de Blasio also criticized the timing of the fellow former mayor’s apology, coming less than two weeks before he officially announced his entrance into the crowded Democratic presidential primary field.
“You can see when someone is sincere,” de Blasio said. “He had years he could have come up with this apology when he was mayor and six years since and then the first time it happens is when he’s on the verge of running for president — no it’s not believable.”
De Blasio also alleged that Bloomberg’s wealth allowed him to enter the field of Democratic candidates, saying that Bloomberg visited the financial firm Goldman Sachs to “give a pep talk” to the executives there during the great recession.
“And if it were anyone but one of the richest people on earth, how on earth would he even be able to pretend he could get in this presidential race as a Democrat — he’s just overtly doing it with money,” de Blasio told “The Young Turks.” Bloomberg has said that he will not accept donations, choosing to fund his campaign with his own wealth.
This is not the first time de Blasio has attacked Bloomberg over the policy. Last week, he told CNN, “We have had plenty of inflection points where [Bloomberg] could have said, ‘You know what, I was wrong.’ “
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