De Blasio’s Decision To Travel To Germany During G-20 Draws Criticism

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Where’s New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio?

De Blasio caught a flight at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday for Hamburg, Germany, to attend events surrounding the G-20 summit.

City Hall said de Blasio will be the keynote speaker at the Hamburg Shows Attitude event, and he will also visit with his son, Dante, a Yale University student who’s spending the summer on an internship in Berlin.

Some say de Blasio’s decision to jet off to Germany showed disrespect to the NYPD because he is skipping the swearing-in of a new recruit class, where it was left to NYPD brass, not the city’s chief executive, to calm fears only hours after the assassination of Officer Miosotis Familia, reported CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.

The protest group paid the expenses for de Blasio and three staffers. The city is paying for the security detail.

De Blasio will return to New York on Sunday.

The mayor carefully hid his overseas plans, announcing them only 90 minutes before his flight left Newark, Kramer reported.

De Blasio participated in his regular weekly radio show from Hamburg on Friday, and he admitted he received the invite some two weeks ago.

“The announcement of the trip was going to be a few days earlier … then we had the horrible shooting … and it was important to focus on that,” de Blasio told WNYC.

“All the issues that need to be attended to I’m attending to every day regardless of where I am,” he added.

The mayor was unrepentant about the trip. As lead speaker at the protest rally Saturday, de Blasio has another opportunity to bash President Donald Trump, Kramer reported. 

Criticism of the trip came fast and furious.

Ed Mullins, head of the union that represents NYPD sergeants, attacked de Blasio’s decision to go, saying as the city is mourning Familia, the mayor has fled the city.

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis accused de Blasio of abandoning pressing issues in the city to pursue his progressive agenda in Europe.

“The mayor is not interested in doing his job and managing the city,” Malliotakis said.

She posted a mocked-up image of de Blasio on Twitter.

“While #NYC’s subways crumble, sex crimes increase double digits, litter on the streets pile up & the number of street homeless soars… #G20,” Malliotakis wrote, with an image depicting the mayor in a traditional German outfit in front of a meal of beer and sausages.

“The mayor needs to realize that this election is not about Donald Trump. It is about transit, traffic and trash and all the other quality-of-life issues he is neglecting while he is off fighting a national ideological war,” Malliotakis said. “Quite frankly, he should stop talking about Donald Trump, and he should really be talking about why he should be re-elected considering the failing record he had for the past three and a half years.”

“He doesn’t even do his job when he’s here, that’s the problem,” she continued. “And that’s why he needs to be replaced.”

Demoractic mayoral candidate Sal Albanese criticized de Blasio, too.

“There’s no excuse for the mayor abandoning the city at a time when a police offcier is assasinated,” he said. “And where’s Waldo? He’s in Germany protesting.”

The headline in this morning’s New York Post read, “AND DON’T COME BACK!”

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that de Blasio went to the G-20 “while the City’s education, infrastructure etc rots under his ‘progressive’ stewardship!”

Some New Yorkers told CBS2 they don’t think the mayor has his priorities straight.

“It’s disgusting. It’s terrible,” said Tony, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “He’s not doing his job. He should be in New York City.”

“I think it’s ridiculous,” added one woman. “Why is he there? He should be in the city.”

“The mayor belongs in his own city taking care of cops getting killed,” said James DeTommaso, also of Bay Ridge.

“I think he should be here. He’s the mayor of New York City,” one man said.

“He should have stayed here and really protected the people of New York,” a woman added.

“If he’s the mayor of the city, he should take care of the city,” another man said. “If he’s not supporting us, we can’t support him.”

A man named Adam, however, said he wasn’t upset about it.

“It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “Our last mayor spent his weekends in Bermuda.”

“Maybe his heart is in the right place, but just bad timing. That’s how I feel, and I like him,” a woman added.

Reactions also poured in on CBSNewYork’s Facebook page.

“Why can’t he just buckle down and do his job, like attending the police academy graduation or paying respects to a fallen cop and her family?” commented Richard Cruz.

“Egregious..an officer assassinated and he runs off to germany to protest?” wrote Jean Moody-Putman.

Others turned their ire toward Malliotakis for her mockery of de Blasio.

“She’s a Trump supporter and clearly very immature to troll de Blasio with Photoshopped pics,” wrote Elisa Read. “She is not gonna win NYC.”

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE