A stricken-looking Mayor Bill de Blasio voiced his hopes and concerns today for the city under an impending President Donald Trump—a man whose five borough bona fides he praised, and whose campaign promises he again criticized.
De Blasio began the press event at City Hall by acknowledging the results were far from what he had hoped, and far from what he had confidently predicted at the block party outside Hillary Clinton’s gathering at the Javits Center last night. The liberal Democrat briefly managed Clinton’s 2000 bid for the Senate, and over this cycle engaged in a mostly unrequited courtship of the former secretary of state’s campaign.
De Blasio noted that, though Trump has clinched the Electoral College, Clinton currently leads in the national tally of ballots.
“Like millions of New Yorkers, I’m deeply disappointed by the results of this election,” he said, alluding to Empire State roots of both candidates. “I congratulate the New Yorker who won the election, Donald Trump. And I honor the New Yorker who won our city’s vote and the popular vote nationally, Hillary Clinton.”
The mayor voiced a dim optimism that the Queens-born businessman might look charitably on the state that reared him, even though it gave nearly 60 percent of its votes to Clinton.
“It’s no secret that I have profound political disagreements with president-elect Trump. But now comes the hard part: governing. And I commit to working with the new administration, positively and constructively, to rebuild our infrastructure, create more jobs, protect our residents and preserve the liberties that New Yorkers enjoy,” he said. “I take solace in the fact that the president-elect is a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, and I hope and trust he will remember the lessons of a life lived in New York City.”
The mayor has repeatedly accused Trump of “the worst kind of racism” for his proposals to build a wall on the Mexican border, deport undocumented immigrants, shut off federal funding to “sanctuary cities” like New York and obstruct Muslim immigration.
Trump has responded by labeling de Blasio a “maniac,” the “worst mayor in the history of NYC” and “the worst mayor in the U.S.”
De Blasio again criticized the president-elect’s ideas, though in a far more subdued and muted manner.
“New York believes in liberty. We stand behind Lady Liberty with open arms to welcome immigrants and refugees,” he said. “New York believes in tolerance. We long ago showed the world that live and let live is the best policy. We embrace civil rights and religious diversity. We always have and we always will.”
“We will continue to keep our people safe—all our people, regardless of who they are or where they come from,” de Blasio continued.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.