Politics

Andrea Mitchell: What Were Clinton and De Blasio Thinking?

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell asked Rep. Steve Israel (D., N.Y.) what Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were thinking with a skit they performed in front of reporters on Saturday night.

With the star of the musical Hamilton on stage, Leslie Odom Jr., Clinton and de Blasio had a brief exchange in the skit.

"I just have to say, thanks for the endorsement, Bill. It took you long enough," Clinton said.

"Sorry Hillary, I was running on CP time," de Blasio said.

"That's not, I don't like jokes like that Bill. That's not-," said Odom, who is black.

"Cautious Politician Time," Clinton said.

The term "CP Time" is an expression meaning "Colored People Time," a racial stereotype about being late.

Referring to the skit, Mitchell blasted it as an "offensive racial joke."

"There were groans from the audience. What was she thinking? What was the mayor thinking?" Mitchell asked Israel.

"Well, my understanding is that, you know, the mayor was talking about cautious politicians. You're in a presidential environment where every word, every noun, every vowel is going to be parsed and turned against people," Israel said.

"They were doing a skit. They referred to ‘cautious politician time,’ something my colleagues know a lot about. And Senator Sanders has decided to make that an issue. But that's not an issue, the real issue is that Hillary Clinton has consistently supported the African-American community as a senator, as secretary of state. I'll put her record up against Bernie Sanders' record any day of the week."

"And Sen. Sanders has decided to make that an issue. But that's not an issue, the real issue is that Hillary Clinton has consistently supported the African-American community as a Senator, as Secretary of State," Israel said. "I'll put her record up against Bernie Sanders' record any day of the week."