Ex-Gov Paterson Rips NYC Mayor's Tactic, Says He Should Have Kept His Mouth Shut


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Top Democrats may be furious at Bill de Blasio for his world class snub of Hillary Clinton, but he’s standing his ground.

CBS2’s Marcia Kramer talked to New York City’s mayor on Tuesday about why he’s refusing to endorse the presidential candidate right now.

Clinton spent the day in Iowa, the first stop in her presidential campaign.

But de Blasio’s stunning snub Sunday, which came on the very day she threw her hat in the 2016 White House ring — he went on national television and said he wouldn’t immediately endorse her — was topic A in New York, drawing and an equally stunning rebuke from former Gov. David Paterson, the chair of the state Democratic Party.

“I wouldn’t pick the day she is announcing, and I wouldn’t do it on ‘Meet the Press.’ They have this thing called a cellphone. You could try that,” Paterson told Kramer.

Kramer: “Should he have kept his mouth shut?”

Paterson: “Yeah, that might have been a good solution here. This was not really the time or not fair to address it with someone who has been a supporter of yours.”

However, de Blasio, who once worked for President Bill Clinton, was the chair of Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign and is such a close Clinton intimate that Bill swore him in as mayor, insisted his closeness to the Clintons has to take a back seat to his passion for progressive values and the need to fix income inequality.

“That’s what matters, the fate of this country, the fate of our people, and even when you have a deep friendship and appreciation for someone, you have to put the people first,” the mayor said.

De Blasio is so passionate about the issue, so proud of his stance, he spent nearly 15 minutes defending his decision to withhold his endorsement and to go to Iowa on Thursday to talk about income inequality. He said he needs to hear her vision.

“A candidate who has not been in the public eye in this sense for almost eight years and we’re still beginning to hear what she stands for, it’s normal to want to hear more,” de Blasio said. “I think it’s right to hold a standard that I think is the honest standard. If we don’t address income inequality, it will be extraordinarily harmful for New York City. It will be extraordinarily harmful for this nation. We will start falling behind.

“I have tremendous respect for both Secretary Clinton and President Clinton,” the mayor said, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported. “I’ve been honored to work with and for both.”

The mayor said he intends to hold a presidential forum on income inequality, adding he will invite Republican candidates as well, Kramer reported.

And he wants to know what all the presidential contenders will do about increasing taxes on the wealthy and closing tax loopholes, to name just a few items on his check list.