New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) on Tuesday repeatedly denied that he is running for president in 2020 during a trip to Iowa, a state that automatically begs questions about White House ambitions if politicians head there.
"No," de Blasio said. "I’m not running for president."
The New York Times noted, however, that de Blasio made Iowa his first stop since his easy re-election to the mayorship. The Iowa caucuses launch the nominating process each presidential election cycle, so any jaunts to the midwestern state attract attention.
The Washington Post described the far-left mayor as fielding versions of the 2020 question throughout the day. He described himself as focused on his second term.
"Look, seriously, mayor of New York City is one of the best public service jobs in the nation," de Blasio said. "I can do big things, and do them quickly. I’ve got four years and 13 days left."
However, he's also said he will spend time helping progressive politicians throughout the country win seats and hopes the Democratic Party will embrace his big government vision.
"We cannot let the last couple of decades cloud our judgment," de Blasio said. "If people see government working effectively, spending tax dollars effectively, improving their lives, then they get very open to government."
De Blasio addressed 150 liberal activists at Progress Iowa as the organization's headline speaker, the New York Times reported.
"We are at the beginning of a progressive era," he said. "We are not the party of elites. We are not the party of big donors. We are the party of working people."
When he was quizzed about working to swing the Democratic Party to the left while also serving as mayor of the country's largest city, de Blasio was ready with a stunt. He pulled out a piece of chewing gum, stuck it in his mouth and started walking.
"Now watch this," he said. "It’s going to be amazing. I am walking while chewing the gum."
De Blasio backed Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign but has taken shots at the campaign for being insufficiently liberal. He has been a strong critic of President Donald Trump, calling him "profoundly racist" and a "spoiled brat."