New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said this morning that “the elites are part of the problem, whether they’re on the coast or any place else,” and both parties “have to confront that.”
“Anyone who looks down their nose at their fellow Americans or their fellow New Yorkers is part of the problem. And I get very upset when I hear people disdain everyday people and working people,” he told MSNBC, using as an example “the folk who go to the cocktail parties in Manhattan but have never been to Staten Island.”
“That, to me, shows a misunderstanding of the kind of society we have to have where everyone’s respected. And working people who make the society come together, who make it all function, deserve our respect,” the mayor added. “And this is a problem in the Democratic Party too. To the previous conversation you guys had earlier, I think Democratic Party’s got to refocus on working people of all backgrounds. And what transcends the question of identity politics is economics.”
De Blasio won re-election Tuesday with two-thirds of the vote versus GOP challenger Nicole Malliotakis, a state assemblywoman.
He called Tuesday’s results across the nation “an affirmation that people want to believe their government’s on their side and actually doing something tangible in their lives.”
“I don’t buy it was just a rejection of Trump at all. That kind of clean sweep, that blue wave is not just about Donald Trump. It’s also about the fact that 3 million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. The country is becoming more progressive,” de Blasio argued.
“Look across the board on Obamacare, the country now supports it. On immigration reform, comprehensive immigration reform, the American people would actually like to see that. You go down a list of issues. There’s an emerging progressive majority in this country. The problem is, Democrats have not been tapping into it by contesting elections and going out to the grassroots. So I think Tuesday was the beginning of that turn towards a new approach.”
Police have turned their backs on de Blasio multiple times, but the mayor insisted “it’s not a shock the police union often stirred the pot.”
“That’s some of what they do all over the country. But I think a lot of the rank-and-file officers saw over time that I believed in making real investments in them, more training, better equipment, all the things that could make their lives better and safer. And over time I think it really helped to create a more positive atmosphere,” he said.
“And I’ve got to tell you, also, look what’s happening around the country. We need police and community to come together. And one of the ways to do that is to create a philosophy that says we’re going to train officers to de-escalate conflict, build personal relationships in the community and get everyone feeling like, hey, we’re 100 percent on the same side here,” the mayor continued. “We got to help each other. Community has to help police too, to do their job. And we’ve seen that happen in New York City. Crime has gone down four years in a row and we’re the safest big city in America. I’m very, very proud of that.”