Gov. Andrew Cuomo may be publicly neutral in the Democratic primary race for New York City mayor, but he stuck up for Bill de Blasio today after Mayor Bloomberg criticized the front running candidate for using his biracial family so prominently in the campaign.
In an interview with New York Magazine’s Chris Smith, Bloomberg accused de Blasio of waging a class warfare and “racist” campaign.
When Smith asked what Bloomberg meant, the mayor back tracked a little (a front end addendum was later added by the magazine that shows him attempting to walk the comment back, somewhat).
“Well, no, no, I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist,” Bloomberg told the magazine. “It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.”
de Blasio has prominently included his interracial family — with his son Dante at the forefront — in campaign ads and literature.
Today in Buffalo, Cuomo defended de Blasio and criticized Bloomberg’s comments.
“I don’t know what was actually said or what the context was, but the comments that were reported clearly are out of line and have no place in our political discourse,” Cuomo said. “There are a lot of important issues that we should be talking about and addressing, especially in the city of New York. We have education issues; we have the stop and frisk issue, so there are plenty of substantive issues to be discussing without raising unnecessary and inflammatory topics.”
The governor also praised de Blasio’s family, referencing when the public advocate worked for him at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration.
“They are a beautiful family. Individually each of the members of his family are truly special people and I think he should be very proud of his family, and if I were Bill I would be campaigning with my family the way that I campaign with my family. So that’s the way I feel about the de Blasios.”
Cuomo has kept his distance this summer from the Democratic primary race for mayor and has reiterated several times recently he won’t make an endorsement before voting begins Tuesday.