‘We Need a Democrat': Quinn Sets Aside Differences for de Blasio

Christine Quinn endorsing Bill de Blasio this morning at City Hall.

Christine Quinn endorsing Bill de Blasio this morning at City Hall.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn officially endorsed Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign this morning, following her bruising loss last week in the Democratic primary.

Standing on the steps of City Hall flanked by her former union and political backers, Ms. Quinn–who sparred incessantly with Mr. de Blasio on the trail–put on a happy face, laughing and joking as she gave her formal rival her blessings.

“To sum it up: We need a Democrat,” said Ms. Quinn, who argued that–despite their heated campaign rhetoric–both candidates shared the same progressive values and hopes for the city’s future.

“We need someone who shares our Democratic, progressive ideals; someone who will make sure that the opportunity and promise of New York will be shared equally by each and every New Yorker. And that is exactly what Bill de Blasio will do. And that’s exactly why I am so proud to support him for mayor today,” she said.

After an aide quickly raised the microphone stand, the towering Mr. de Blasio, showcasing his new-found swagger, touted his party’s unity a day after second-place finisher Bill Thompson conceded the race and rallied around his campaign.

“Some people I’m sure were hoping the Democratic party would not be unified. Some people were hoping that we wouldn’t all stand together in overwhelming numbers to change this city. To those people, I say, ‘Sorry!'” he declared. “We are unified and we will be together and we will be strong.”

He went on to compliment Ms. Quinn’s coalition and touted their “friendship” and close working relationship, which he said dates back over 20 years.

“She has so much to be proud of,” he said, before calling for a round of applause–eliciting one of Ms. Quinn’s famous, hearty laughs.

Asked later about her campaign charge that Mr. de Blasio couldn’t be trusted, Ms. Quinn quickly brushed those comments aside.

“You know, we’re here today after a campaign and it was a hard-fought campaign by all. And campaigns are, in their essence, about drawing contrasts between yourself and opponent,” she said. “But I’ve gotta tell you, I trust Bill de Blasio.”

Mr. de Blasio also dismissed Ms. Quinn’s heated rhetoric: “I respect Christine Quinn for being a fierce competitor. When she’s out on the playing field, she plays hard, and I say, ‘Amen.’”