State GOP Chair Hits de Blasio for ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ to Iowa

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

First Iowa saw Hillary Clinton’s “Scooby Van“—and then it played host to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Magic Mystery Tour.”

That was the name New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox gave to Mr. de Blasio’s recent swing through Nebraska and Iowa, blasting out a press release this morning calling for an end to the mayor’s “Magical Mystery Tour.” (Mr. de Blasio’s trip has already ended—he flew back to New York this morning.)

“Bill de Blasio is blowing smoke in Iowa, but was smoked back down to earth by folks who realized he wasn’t getting the facts straight about his job back home,” Mr. Cox. “It’s time for the Mayor to end this Magical Mystery Tour, stop playing to a national audience and come back home to deal with the realities of his misguided administration of our great city.”

During Mr. de Blasio’s trip, he has continued saying in speeches that the city’s reforms to stop and frisk has led to police “targeting folks that have actually done something wrong,” rather than stopping innocent people.

But as the Daily News pointed out twice this week, the vast majority of those who were stopped during the mayor’s first year in office were also never charged with a crime—in 2014, 82 percent of those stopped and frisked were not charged with anything, only a small change from the 88 percent under Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013.

The GOP was quick to point out Mr. de Blasio’s other adventures out of state, including his vacation to Italy, his trip to England to speak with the Labour Party, and his trip to Paris after the Charlie Hebdo murders. His trip to Iowa comes just days after he declined to back Ms. Clinton, the former secretary of state whose U.S. Senate campaign he ran in 2000, in her presidential bid. Ms. Clinton was also in Iowa this week.

“With his approval rating dropping below 50% this year, it’s time for New York’s Mayor to give up his national dreams and focus his mind on managing New York,” Mr. Cox said in a statement.

The GOP chairman is not the only one criticizing Mr. de Blasio’s travel. State Senator Diane Savino, a fellow Democrat who represents parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, also knocked the mayor this week.

In a Facebook message, Ms. Savino offered this advice to the mayor: “dude, you have a city to run.”

And veterans angry that the mayor has yet to the meet with them also pointed out he’d had time for people in Iowa.

“This week you’ve met with voters in Nebraska and Iowa. But you haven’t met with us once,” Paul Rieckhoff, founder of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said yesterday.

Mr. de Blasio’s office did not respond to a request for comment.