During a bitter debate, Wednesday night over who would be the next leader of the nation’s biggest city, almost all Democratic candidates for New York City mayor were on the same page about one thing: steering clear of the incumbent’s endorsement.
“It just proves they’re politicians now,” Mayor Bill de Blasio shot back during a press conference Thursday morning.
Only Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur, who first ran for president in the Democratic primary, raised his hand when asked who would accept an endorsement from the mayor, though he continued to rail against him throughout the night. Yang also said he would accept an endorsement from embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Candidates do what candidates do. Sometimes they think they’re doing the smart thing or the clever thing and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” de Blasio said of the candidates’ resounding rebuke of him throughout the night.
Hizzoner said he, too, was unimpressed with the candidates at the debate.
NYC MAYORAL DEBATE: ONLY YANG WOULD ACCEPT DE BLASIO ENDORSEMENT
“Sadly, I don’t think it was much of a debate,” de Blasio. “I don’t think it shed a lot of light. And New Yorkers need a lot more information about these candidates; they need a lot clearer vision from these candidates.”
Those on stage included Kathryn Garcia, de Blasio’s former sanitation commissioner who was launched near the front of the race after she landed the New York Times editorial board endorsement, and Maya Wiley, who was the mayor’s top legal aide for nearly two years.
“I heard a lot of statements that reflected a lack of information about city government and how the city of New York actually works,” de Blasio said of the debate. “You know, that was not inspiring to me. So what I would say to all these candidates is, brush up on your facts, bring us a more coherent vision.”
He said he hasn’t made up his mind on if he’ll endorse anyone in the race. “If I want to say anything about any of the candidates, I will come to that decision at the right moment.”
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Yang accused de Blasio of “squandering” the city’s COVID-19 relief money too quickly, setting the city up for steep deficits.
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“Everyone on this stage should be livid about it unless you don’t expect to be mayor,” he said. “We’re going to be left holding the bag.”
“Imagine if you were a household that knew you were going to owe $5 billion in 2023 and we give you $12 billion today and then you spend it before any of these people are going to have a chance to take office,” Yang said.
Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.