Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president and will campaign for the self-proclaimed socialist in Nevada this weekend ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic caucuses.
His decision to sidestep backing his anticipated choice, his predecessor, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, was spurred by the 78-year-old senator’s so-called stance for blue-collar Americans and common repugnance for President Donald Trump.
"I am standing with Bernie because he stands with working families, and always has,” de Blasio proclaimed in a statement issued by Sanders’ campaign, according to Fox News. “New Yorkers know all too well the damage caused by Donald Trump’s xenophobia, bigotry and recklessness, and Bernie is the candidate to take him on and take him down."
Late last year, when de Blasio called his 2020 presidential bid quits, he centered his campaign on anti-Trump rhetoric.
“If we do not [continue progressive political activism], we will lose in 2020,” de Blasio wrote in a NBC News op-ed in September. “Yes, Donald Trump lies to working people, but he at least pretends to talk to them. That may be enough for him to win – if we do not constantly make it clear that the Democrats are the party of everyday Americans in rural counties and urban centers, the coasts and the heartland.”
This harsh rebuke came in the midst of reports that the unemployment rates for blacks and Latinos are at all-time record lows under the Trump administration.
He attributed his recently declared support for Sanders to his mutual support for ultra-left policies.
"I have called for a bold, progressive agenda, and that’s exactly what Senator Sanders has championed for decades," de Blasio added. "I am proud to endorse a true progressive leader who will fight for working New Yorkers and families across the country.”
Sanders took to social media to flaunt his newly proclaimed support from the progressive New York City mayor.
“Mayor @BilldeBlasio knows that the only way we can defeat Trump is by uniting people from all backgrounds around an agenda that speaks to working families,” Sanders tweeted Friday. “I’m proud to have the support of a mayor fighting every day to improve the lives of New Yorkers.”
Retooling of devotion
Despite his newfound support of Sanders, de Blasio chose to endorse former first lady Hillary Clinton over the socialist in her 2016 Democratic presidential race – when she overcame Sanders to become the party’s nominee.
Serving as the mayor of New York City since 2013, de Blasio becomes the first former Democratic candidate in the 2020 race to back Sanders, and he threw in his support as his predecessor appears to be gaining a bit of momentum – while, at the same time, receiving major criticism from the black community over his stand for a controversial NYPD practice.
“Bloomberg – who led New York for 12 years before de Blasio – has risen in the polls and racked up several endorsements after pouring hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money into the race,” Fox News reported. “However, Bloomberg's campaign has recently come under scrutiny over the New York Police Department's ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy, which critics disproportionately impacted communities of color during his time as mayor. Other critics have accused Bloomberg of not doing enough while in office to stem widening income inequality.”
Sanders – a promoter of Medicare for all, open borders and a $16-trillion Green New Deal – serenaded de Blasio for his support via the left-leaning mainstream media.
He addressed the common ground he and his wife – Jane O’Meara Sanders, who he took to the communist Soviet Union for a 10-day honeymoon in 1988 – have with the mayor.
"Jane and I grew up in Brooklyn and we are so proud to have the support of a New York City mayor fighting every day to improve the lives of New Yorkers,” Sanders wrote in a statement to CNN Friday.. “Bill is a leading example of what bringing the Democratic Party together around so-called 'radical ideas' like universal pre-K; paid family and sick leave; and defending immigrant neighbors, can do for our country."
Not a fan
There was no love-loss between Trump and Bloomberg, as the president recently called the former Big Apple mayor a “LOSER” before casting out his vote of no confidence for the billionaire in his 2020 presidential White House bid.
“Mini Mike is a 5’4” mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians. No boxes please,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “He hates Crazy Bernie and will – with enough money – possibly stop him. Bernie’s people will go nuts!”
Regardless of Trump’s criticism and de Blasio’s snub – of not supporting Bloomberg’s 2020 bid – the former mayor continues to rise in the polls as he tallies up the support of his colleagues and liberal Hollywood stars such has Michael Douglas, who has voiced radio campaign ads for the New Yorker.
“More than a hundred current and former mayors – including Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and San Francisco Mayor London Breed – have endorsed Bloomberg's presidential bid,” The Hill informed. “Bloomberg's campaign has called the growing group the ‘Mayors for Mike’ coalition.”