De Blasio Squeaks Into Iowa

Audio glitch causes mayor's voice to sound high

Mayor Bill de Blasio / Getty Images
August 21, 2019

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's voice sounded high and squeaky as he remotely addressed an AFL-CIO event in Iowa on Wednesday.

De Blasio was unable to fly out to the event because of a flight cancellation and opted to give his speech over a video call projected onto a screen. But when the mayor spoke, an audio glitch making him sound as if he had sucked a helium balloon provoked titters from his labor union audience.

Journalists present at the event posted videos of de Blasio on Twitter.

"De Blasio is appearing via a video feed that, hilariously and unfortunately, is distorting his voice by making it sound higher," Washington Post political correspondent Dave Weigel wrote.

MSNBC's Garrett Haake and the Washington Post's Matt Viser also captured the embarrassing moment.

As de Blasio's speech ended, the event organizer said, "Okay, so ... that was a little bit different," according to Haake. The event organizer then apologized to the mayor for the glitch.

De Blasio has struggled to gain traction in a presidential bid former aides described to Politico as "f—ing insane." When the mayor announced his candidacy with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America in May, protesters outside the studio shouted, "Can't run the city! Can't run the country!" During that interview, Stephanopoulos informed de Blasio that a majority of New Yorkers do not want him to run for president.

On the trail, de Blasio has received lackluster responses from potential voters. In early August, he held an event in Iowa that attracted only 15 people, many of whom were not impressed with his performance.

"He did not say anything that would sway me that he would be my choice as a candidate," 78-year-old retiree Carol Wickey told the New York Post. "Nothing made him stand out among the other two dozen people."