New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized Hillary Clinton in an interview after her 2016 presidential election loss, saying she "could have generated more support if she had taken a stronger stance."
Author Joseph Viteritti interviewed de Blasio shortly after the 2016 presidential election for his book, The Pragmatist: Bill de Blasio’s Quest to Save the Soul of New York. In the interview, the two men discussed the 2016 presidential race, and his complicated relationship with the Clintons, according to the New York Post.
"Although I opposed the DLC [pro-Bill Clinton] (Democratic Leadership Council) and its centrist politics, I had real hope for Hillary," de Blasio said.
The New York mayor, whose relationship with the Clintons goes back more than 20 years, hoped Clinton would adopt more progressive positions.
"I thought she would eventually take a stronger position on income inequality. She could have generated more support if she had taken a stronger stance, and done it sooner."
Viteritti noted that de Blasio's late endorsement of Clinton over his "philosophical compatriot" Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) must have been "soul wrenching."
"Even as a mature political actor, this man who once dabbled in Marxist causes remains an odd player on the American scene," Viteritti writes, referring to the mayor’s support for Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime when he was younger.
The mayor's loyalty to the Clintons, however, ultimately won out.
De Blasio ran Clinton’s successful 2000 Senate campaign in New York. He also worked as regional housing administrator in Bill Clinton’s administration, and the former president swore him in as mayor.
Viteritti noted that de Blasio paid a political price for not endorsing Clinton earlier during the Democratic primary. Clinton rejected his request to attend an Iowa forum during the primary season. She also gave former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a moderate Republican-turned-independent, a more prominent speaking role at the Democratic National Convention.
Despite the tensions between de Blasio and Clinton, Clinton gave a positive review of his work on universal pre-schools during an interview Friday on WNYC's "Brian Lehrer Show."
"Bill's work on universal pre-school was especially important to me and I strongly supported it when he was advocating for it. And now he has four more years to continue to implement policies in New York that hopefully can be models for the rest of the country," Clinton said.