By Allyson Escobar
Mayor Bill de Blasio formally announced his campaign for president on May 16, becoming the 23rd candidate to join the Democratic field that includes such national figures as former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
“I’m a New Yorker, I’ve known Trump’s a bully for a long time. This is not news to me or anyone else here. And I know how to take him on,” de Blasio, 58, said in his campaign video announcing the news. In the video, he boasts about some of his accomplishments as mayor of New York such as launching the Green New Deal, starting universal free pre-K program and establishing a citywide $15 minimum wage.
“As president, I will take on the wealthy, I will take on big corporations. I will not rest until this government serves working people. It’s time we put working people first,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio is now serving his second term as mayor. He was first elected in 2013 on a platform of fighting inequality and the wage gap. He won re-election in 2017 with the slogan “Promises Made, Promises Kept,” the same slogan that President Donald Trump has used. Previously, de Blasio was the city’s public advocate. A native of New York City who grew up near Boston, he lived in Park Slope before becoming mayor.
“I have never run for anything without intending to win,” De Blasio said at a press conference last week, although he is widely seen as a long shot at best. A Quinnipiac poll in March found that 76 percent of New York voters were not in favor of him running.
“Can you like, fix the subway first,” one disgruntled New Yorker responded to his candidacy announcement.
De Blasio has some history with Pope Francis. He visited the Vatican for a papal conference on climate change in 2015, and met the pope during the pontiff’s visit to New York, the same year. The liberal mayor has long called himself “spiritual,” not religious, according to the New York Times.
A Trump tweet following the campaign announcement called De Blasio “the worst mayor in the U.S.” and a “JOKE, but if you like high taxes and crime, he’s your man.”
De Blasio said Trump he “must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before, and I will do it again.”