De Blasio on Whether Nixon Can Beat Cuomo: 'Unquestionably'

May 24, 2018

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that former "Sex and the City" star and political newcomer Cynthia Nixon can "unquestionably" beat incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary.

"Do you think she can win?" de Blasio was asked.

"Unquestionably," de Blasio answered. "In a race with two prominent candidates and at a time where people are very distrustful of the status quo, anything can happen."

Nixon has mounted a serious challenge to Cuomo with her outsider status and criticism of how the government has been handling the persistent subway failures in New York City. Nixon has received several significant endorsements from progressive groups like the New York Working Families Party. Meanwhile, Cuomo has received establishment support, including the endorsement of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

De Blasio was on the set of  MSNBC's "Morning Joe" when he was asked who he was supporting in the Democratic primary for governor.

"Who are you supporting?" economist Steve Rattner asked the mayor.

"I'm not in this primary yet. At some point I will weigh in," de Blasio said.

The mayor continued to dodge on making a endorsement, saying he would decide at some point but his main focus was winning back the New York Senate.

"At some point I'm going to decide what to do about this race in New York state. I'm also focused on winning back the state Senate in New York state ... I think it's about to flip Democratic," de Blasio said. "That has huge ramifications for the people in New York City."

Co-host Willie Geist continued to press the mayor by asking if Nixon's views are more aligned with his than Cuomo's.

"It's pretty clear though, is it not, Mr. Mayor, that your world view, your ideology, your policy positions line up much better with Cynthia Nixon's than Governor Cuomo's?" Geist asked.

"She's been an education activist," de Blasio said, "she's been someone who has fought for, I think, a lot of the right things. But the fact is, electoral decisions are something I'll make when I feel it's the appropriate time."

De Blasio added that the Democratic party should be prepared to be taken over by the progressive wing of the party.

"The overall reality – and Democrats should get used to it – is progressives in the party and the grass roots are not going to accept the Democratic party the way it was," the mayor said. "It is in the process of change. It's not just going to happen in 2018. It's going to be a long-term trend."