New York's De Blasio, At 0.5%, Skirts Likability Issue for 2020

Hailey Waller
New York's De Blasio, At 0.5%, Skirts Likability Issue for 2020

(Bloomberg) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio brushed off questions about his likability as he seeks the Democratic nomination for president, and said while he thinks investigations will ultimately lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment, the party must focus more on other issues.

Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday about poor favorability ratings and an April 3 Quinnipiac University survey showing that 76% of voters in his own city don’t think he should run, de Blasio said he won two elections in New York overwhelmingly, and that voters will get to know him.

“The more folks hear the message and look at the experience I’ve had and done for working people, the more they will come to this side,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio, 58, said voters will respond to his honest assessment that the federal government has been on the side of the wealthy and corporations. “There is plenty of money in this world and in this country, but it’s just in the wrong hands,” he said.

The mayor also said he’s different from two dozen or so other Democrats seeking the nomination because he’s watched Trump for decades and understands his “tricks and strategies.”

“I do get under his skin,” de Blasio said. “On the first day of my campaign, I called him ‘Con Don’ because he is a con artist. That’s how he’s gotten ahead.”

Focus on Issues

De Blasio said while he thinks congressional investigations of Trump should continue, Democrats also need to focus on issues such as health care and infrastructure.

“I don’t hear Democrats talking about the issues of concern to everyday Americans enough right now,” de Blasio said. “I hear a lot of focus and a lot of talk on investigations.”

The mayor criticized Democratic front-runner Joe Biden for his vote in the Senate in favor of the 1994 crime law, saying it was one of the foundations for mass incarcerations and is “a very painful era in our nation’s history.” Biden has defended his support for the measure.

“The vice president and anyone else has to be accountable for every vote they take and what’s on their record,” de Blasio said. “And I think that was a huge mistake. ”

An average of recent national opinion polls for the 2020 Democratic nomination compiled by RealClearPolitics shows Biden at 34.7% leading Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at 17.7%. De Blasio, who announced is bid this month, is at 0.5%.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hailey Waller in New York at hwaller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net, Mark Niquette, Ros Krasny

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