Hillary Clinton Pins Blame on De Blasio for Racially Charged Joke

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP
• April 13, 2016 5:54 pm


Hillary Clinton shifted blame to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for the racially charged skit the two delivered during an event Saturday night.

"Well, look, it was Mayor de Blasio’s skit," Clinton said in an interview with Cosmopolitan. "He has addressed it, and I will really defer to him because it is something that he’s already talked about."

A spokesperson for de Blasio said the mayor was only intending to mock himself when he joked alongside Clinton during the annual Inner Circle show in Manhattan that he took so long to endorse her presidential bid because he was "running on C.P. time."

The phrase was a reference to "colored people time," which stereotypes black people as constantly running late.

Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Aaron Burr in the production "Hamilton," was onstage with the two Democrats when the line was delivered.

"That’s not—I don’t like jokes like that, Bill," said Odom, who was reportedly in on the joke.

"'Cautious Politician Time.’ I’ve been there," Clinton responded during the planned skit.

De Blasio defended the racially charged line Monday night during an interview with CNN.

"It was clearly a staged show. It was a scripted show and the whole idea was to do the counterintuitive by saying, ‘cautious politician time,’" de Blasio said. "Every actor thought it was a joke on a different convention. That was the whole idea. I think people are missing the point here."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest defended Clinton and de Blasio Tuesday, touting their "genuine commitment" to equality and civil rights issues.

"I can’t speak to any misguided attempts at humor," Earnest, who said he hadn’t yet heard the joke, continued. "I can only speak to their commitment they have shown over the course of their career to justice and civil rights."

Clinton is currently leading Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, Vt.) by double digits in New York with the April 19 primary contest less than a week away.