New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, calling the self-described democratic socialist a “true progressive leader” who can take on President Trump.
“I am standing with Bernie because he stands with working families, and always has,” de Blasio, a former 2020 presidential contender, said in a statement released by Sanders’s campaign. “New Yorkers know all too well the damage caused by Donald Trump’s xenophobia, bigotry and recklessness, and Bernie is the candidate to take him on and take him down. I am proud to endorse a true progressive leader who will fight for working New Yorkers and families across the country.”
The endorsement from de Blasio comes as his predecessor, Mike Bloomberg has risen in the polls and racked up several big endorsements from current and former mayors. The progressive mayor, who is overwhelming unpopular in New York is a fierce critic of Bloomberg and has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the billionaire’s late presidential bid.
“This is a Democratic Party today that’s getting more progressive, that wants to address the concerns of working people, that does not accept the status quo,” de Blasio said shortly after Bloomberg announced his candidacy. “There’s no way in the world we should nominate a billionaire who epitomizes the status quo.”
De Blasio also assailed Bloomberg for his use of stop and frisk, a police tactic that Bloomberg defended during his three terms in office, but recently apologized for the practice.
“There is one aspect of approach that I deeply regret, the abuse of police practice called stop and frisk,” Bloomberg said at a launch event for “Mike for Black America” in Houston Thursday night. “I defended it, looking back, for too long because I didn’t understand then the unintended pain it was causing to young black and brown families and their kids. I should have acted sooner and faster to stop it. I didn’t, and for that I apologize.”
Sanders said that he is “proud to have the support of a mayor fighting every day to improve the lives of New Yorkers.”
“Mayor Bill de Blasio knows that the only way we can defeat Donald Trump is by uniting people from all backgrounds around an agenda that speaks to the needs of working families,” Sanders said in the statement. “Jane and I grew up in Brooklyn and we are so proud to have the support of a New York City Mayor fighting every day to improve the lives of New Yorkers. Bill is a leading example of what bringing the Democratic Party together around so-called ‘radical ideas’ like universal pre-K, paid family and sick leave, and defending our immigrant neighbors can do for our country.”
De Blasio dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary in September, saying he would continue to focus on the needs of the working class.
“Yes, Donald Trump lies to working people, but he at least pretends to talk to them,” de Blasio wrote in an NBC News op-ed. “That may be enough for him to win, if we do not constantly make it clear that the Democrats are the party of everyday Americans in rural counties and urban centers, the coasts and the heartland.”
The mayor endorsed Hillary Clinton over Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential race. Last year, de Blasio said he believed that Sanders would have won the presidential election in 2016 if he were the party’s nominee instead of Clinton.
De Blasio will travel to Nevada on Sunday and Monday, where he will appear with Sanders in a series of events ahead of the state’s February 22 caucuses.
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