NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After vowing to stay out of the mayoral race, Gov. Andrew Cuomo rushed to the defense of Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio Sunday.
As CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Sunday evening, the governor both blasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his controversial comments accusing the de Blasio campaign of being “racist,” and offered warm words about the Democratic frontrunner.
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.”
Kramer reported Bloomberg’s remarks have now backfired in a big way. His words prompted Cuomo to rush to de Blasio’s defense.
“The comments that were reported clearly are out of line and have no place in our political discourse,” Cuomo said. “There are plenty of substantive issues without raising unnecessary and inflammatory topics.”
The decision by Cuomo to speak out right before the Tuesday primary was regarded by pundits as tantamount to an endorsement of de Blasio.
Cuomo also defended de Blasio’s decision to spotlight his family.
“They are a beautiful family,” Cuomo said, “and I think he should be very proud of his family, and if I were Bill, I would be campaigning with my family the way that I campaign with my family.”
And as all of the candidates worked to get out the vote before the primary, de Blasio expressed gratitude to the governor.
Meanwhile, the other candidates slammed Bloomberg.
“I found the comments idiotic, to put it mildly. They made no sense,” said Democratic candidate Bill Thompson. “I think Bill de Blasio is proud of his family, and they’re out there helping him, and I’m proud of my family.”
“I couldn’t disagree with the mayor more,” added Democratic candidate Christine Quinn. “Bill de Blasio has a lovely family. I think the mayor’s comments were completely, totally inappropriate.”
In addressing Bloomberg’s comments on Saturday, 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 worked for Cuomo when he was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton.
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