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De Blasio: New York won't be dragged down into this 'heyday of hatred'

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio during his inauguration ceremony on Monday ripped prejudice and discrimination that he said is “suddenly en vogue,” and touted a new “progressive era” in the city.

“In this heyday of hatred, this new dawn of divisiveness, we in our city refuse to be dragged down to a place we know is beneath us,” De Blasio said. 

“We will not be passive in the face of regression. We will not ignore or deny the threat. We will confront it head on. To do anything less would be an affront to our very identity as New Yorkers,” De Blasio said.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersElection Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue Bernie Sanders' age should not disqualify him in 2020 Small-dollar donations explode in the Trump era MORE (I-Vt.), who is seen as a likely presidential candidate in 20202, presided over De Blasio’s swearing-in ceremony.

Sanders praised De Blasio and his administration, saying they understand “our job is to bring people together with love and compassion, and to end the divisions and the attacks that are taking place.”

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue No, civility isn't optional MORE presided over De Blasio’s swearing-in ceremony at his inauguration four years ago.

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De Blasio sparked speculation about a potential White House run when he recently visited Iowa and spoke at a political fundraiser. While De Blasio denied that he is running for president, potential candidates often visit Iowa — the first state in the nominating process — to gauge support for a run.

De Blasio was re-elected to a second four-year term as New York mayor in November.