NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg was taking heat Saturday for calling Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign “racist.”
In the chat with New York Magazine – conducted on Aug. 6 and published Saturday – interviewer Chris Smith remarked that de Blasio’s campaign has been “class-warfare” in some ways, to which Bloomberg responded, “class-warfare and racist.”
Bloomberg accused de Blasio of pandering by using his family to gain support. De Blasio’s wife is African-American, and some have credited de Blasio’s TV commercials featuring their son, Dante, for the candidate’s rise in the polls.
“I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist,” Bloomberg told New York Magazine. “It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.”
In response to the remarks made by Bloomberg, de Blasio said he hoped the mayor would reconsider.
“I hope the mayor will reconsider what he said. I hope he’ll realize it was inappropriate and I think the people of this city are ready for us to move forward together,” de Blasio said on Saturday afternoon.
De Blasio said that he was campaigning on the issues.
“We have run a campaign about the ideas, about the issues, about how to move the city forward. I’m very proud of that,” he said.
De Blasio’s Democratic rival, Bill Thompson, sharply criticized Bloomberg for his comments, CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported.
“‘There is so much about what Mayor Bloomberg said that is offensive and callous, particularly his comments about the poor,” Thompson said in part. “The Mayor is so out of touch and doesn’t get the struggles that low income and working class families face in this city.”
On Friday, a published report said Bloomberg would endorse Republican Joe Lhota for mayor if de Blasio won the Democratic primary. The New York Post report said the mayor is worried that de Blasio might undo his legacy.
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