Mayor Bill de Blasio found himself unable to name a single policy or political fumble when pressed by a reporter today.
Asked what he regarded as the greatest error of nearly two-year mayoralty, Mr. de Blasio called it a “cosmic question,” but said he could not come up with anything off the top of his head.
“I would have to think about that and come back with a coherent answer,” he said.
The question came days after a new poll found the mayor’s public approval rating at its lowest level ever—with 46 percent of New Yorkers viewing his job performance negatively, compared to 45 percent seeing him positively. Mr. de Blasio continued to tout what he claimed were great strides in the city’s economy, public safety and his flagship universal prekindergarten initiative.
“We have an economy that is very strong, we have 177,000 new jobs since I took office 22 months ago. That’s something that the city should be very proud of. We have a city that is getting safer all the time,” he said, citing figures from Police Commissioner Bratton that showed the safest October in decades. “We have a city that is moving forward with full-day pre-K for every child. There are so many positive indicators about this city. We’ll keep doing this work and showing people what it means for their lives. But there’s no question that this is a time when the city is moving forward.”
Mr. de Blasio continued to scoff at his declining support among the people of the city he represents, and brushed aside reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed he, the governor, was going to have to “save New York City.”
“Polls come and go. There’s no question about the work that is being done and the impact it is having on people. That’s what matters. And I know it will be felt,” he said. “In terms of any measure of how you judge a city and its success, there are a lot of areas where this city is literally doing better than ever.”
At the same time, the mayor admitted his office could improve its public relations.
“One thing I think we have to do better is explaining to people how this vision is affecting their lives, and that is something we will continue to do,” he said.