De Blasio Sides with Obama, Criticizes Green’s Absence

The public advocate debate last night focused a lot more on politics than on policies, which Julie Bosman noted. After the debate, I asked Bill de Blasio what he thought of the White House involvement in the governor’s race.

De Blasio worked with Andrew Cuomo, who benefited politically from the maneuver, and has close ties with Patrick Gaspard, the White House aide who reportedly delivered the message to Paterson.

“I respect the president greatly. And I’m a Democrat, a proud Democrat and I do respect the historic role of any president as the head of the party,” de Blasio said. He later added, “The gubernatorial election will sort itself out in due time.”

The main thrust of de Blasio’s critique of his opponent, Mark Green, is that he’s been absent from local political life since he last held office. De Blasio questioned Green during the debate about the mayor’s plan that would have closed several senior centers, which the City Council ultimately prevent. Green expressed opposition to it, but not a firm grasp of the details.

Afterward, de Blasio told reporters that “Anybody who has been active in public life and has a name can lend their name to a good cause.”