Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese slammed rival Bill de Blasio for being arrested at a hospital protest earlier today, accusing the public advocate of grandstanding and even “jumping the shark.”
“Today, Bill jumped the shark. Desperate for headlines, he got himself arrested at a LICH [Long Island College Hospital] rally,” Mr. Albanese said in a blistering statement. “The nurses, doctors, and community members who have devoted their lives to saving healthcare in their neighborhoods will now be treated by the press as footnotes to a political charade.”
Others also piled on. Not long after Mr. de Blasio was led away by police, the Bronx Republican Party tweeted, “Will hopefully seek asylum in Venezuela,” referencing NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s attempts to gain asylum in the South American nation.
Mr. de Blasio, along with fellow mayoral candidates Anthony Weiner and Comptroller John Liu, was protesting the potential closures of two Brooklyn hospitals, L.I.C.H and Interfaith Medical Center. When Mr. de Blasio refused to leave the sidewalk, police arrested him as protesters chanted “Hell no! We don’t go!” But Mr. Albanese, who consistently places at the bottom of the pack in polls, believes it was little more than a publicity stunt.
“Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: L.I.C.H. must be saved, and it can be saved, but the political class lacks the courage to make it happen,” Mr. Albanese, a former city councilman, argued. “Johnny-come-latelys like Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and Tony Weiner are putting personal gain above the public interest. New Yorkers deserve better.”
Mr. Albanese further said that he was far more dedicated to the cause of keeping the hospitals open than his opponents.
Of course, this is not Mr. Albanese’s first time picking a beef with Mr. de Blasio; both Mr. Albanese and his staffers have railed against the public advocate plenty of times before, including accusing him of being a phony advocate for progressive beliefs. Although Mr. de Blasio’s spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to today’s broadside, in the past an aide has responded to Mr. Albanese’s attacks with a simple, one-word answer: “Pass.”