Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani thinks Mayor Bill de Blasio’s constant tardiness is a sign of deeper issues.
Shortly before Mr. de Blasio’s major speech this afternoon trumpeting his first 100 days in office, Mr. Giuliani, a Republican who backed a rival candidate in last year’s election, repeatedly panned the current mayor’s leadership skills. Chief among his complaints: Mr. de Blasio’s frequent lateness to events.
“Yeah. He should change it,” Mr. Giuliani answered matter-of-factly when asked if Mr. de Blasio’s tardiness was “a big deal” during an interview on Geraldo Rivera’s WABC radio show with guest host Noam Laden.
“This is a good test of Mayor de Blasio on his progress: Six months from now, is he going to continue to be late? If he is, there’s no hope for him. On the other hand, if he is on time, then he’s beginning to become a manager,” he added.
Mr. Giuliani expounded on the difference between justified and unjustified tardiness.
“Look, you’re going to show up late for some press conferences. I did; Mayor Bloomberg did. Emergencies require that. Or there are times in which you know a big deal … some kind of a scandal or a building collapsed and nobody knows the reason for it and [reporters] are going to be killing you on, ‘Why did it happen and what did you know about it?’” he explained. “You got to take an extra half-hour, 45 minutes so you don’t make a fool out of yourself …. But I’ve always tried to look at it this way: When they don’t have to happen, then doggonit I’m going to be on time.”
“I think you look more disorganized,” he added.
Mr. Giuliani also weighed in on some of Mr. de Blasio’s other alleged missteps, including his much-criticized snow-removal operations and an incident in which his police motorcade was caught breaking traffic rules days after unveiling a major crackdown on speeding. (Mr. Giuliani was once involved in his own speeding controversy.)
“I empathize with the mistakes. I’m sure I made equal numbers of mistakes, not only in my first 100 days, but throughout. You say things that you don’t think out, or they get interpreted a different way. They’re only important if it continues,” he argued. “In other words, those seem to me to be the mistakes made of somebody who is first in office, who has not had executive experience. We’ll find out if that is the way he is six months from now or not.”
Mr. de Blasio’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr. Giuliani’s remarks, but Mr. de Blasio addressed the tardiness issue himself in today’s front-page New York Times look at his first 100 days in office.
“George W. Bush was punctual,” Mr. de Blasio offered. “Unfortunately, he left the nation in worse shape than how he found it.”