Mayor Bill de Blasio has not spoken to his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, in the four months since his inauguration, the new mayor revealed yesterday.
“It so happens that we haven’t talked a lot in recent times,” Mr. de Blasio told PBS’s Charlie Rose during a lengthy interview that aired last night.
Mr. Rose began his question by asserting that Mr. de Blasio had not seen, talked to or sought advice from his predecessor since becoming mayor. “Is there a reason not to talk to the man who had the job that you now have?” he asked.
Mr. de Blasio did not refute the premise of the question, but played down the significance, stressing that he shares many goals with the Bloomberg administration and that he expected the two men’s paths to cross sooner rather than later.
“I’m very comfortable talking to him, working with him. In fact, I’ve signed onto his gun control efforts, which I think are very important for this country. And I’m continuing his policies on public health. I’m continuing his policies on resiliency, on a lot of the environmental fronts,” said Mr. de Blasio. “It so happens that we haven’t talked a lot in recent times. I’m very comfortable doing it, though. And I’m certain it will happen naturally.”
“I’m certain there will be initiatives that I’m working on that I’ll want to ask him to be a part of or seek his guidance on. I imagine there’ll come a time he’ll want me to be a part of something,” he added.
An aide to the mayor confirmed that the pair had not spoken since Mr. de Blasio’s inauguration day, but said that staff from both offices had been in close in contact, with top de Blasio aides Emma Wolfe and Peter Ragone speaking with former Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson and Mr. de Blasio’s chief of staff, Laura Santucci, reaching out to many former administration officials during and after the transition.
Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Bloomberg last appeared publicly together on Mr. de Blasio’s inauguration stage on January 1, when Mr. Bloomberg’s legacy was repeatedly skewered as he sat listening from the front row. Mr. de Blasio ran his election promising a clean break from the Bloomberg years, and the pair frequently exchanges jabs until after the election, when their rhetoric seemed to cool.
Since then, Mr. Bloomberg has declined to weigh in directly on his successor. The former mayor’s spokesman declined to comment on Mr. de Blasio’s remarks.
Speaking to Mr. Rose, Mr. de Blasio also said that, despite not speaking to Mr. Bloomberg, he is open to listening to anyone who wants to share advice, so long as they understand his core objectives.
“Everyone’s welcome to be part of the conversation,” he said, “but there are some philosophical differences from the previous administration. And that’s not a shocker.”