Letitia James: De Blasio Can Seek Presidency, But Why Would He? - NBC New York
Decision 2020

Decision 2020

The latest news on the race for president in 2020

Letitia James: De Blasio Can Seek Presidency, But Why Would He?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    De Blasio Gets Warm Reception on First Day of Campaign

    A crowd of about 30 people in Sioux City, Iowa, listened to what the New York City mayor had to say, and most were impressed. NBC 4 New York's Melissa Russo reports from Iowa. (Published Saturday, May 18, 2019)

    What to Know

    • NBC New York went around to every borough of the city to see what regular New Yorkers thought about the mayor's Oval Office aspirations

    • Residents all over the city were split, with some wishing de Blasio well but not thinking he'll win, to some saying it's a terrible idea

    • One thing was consistent through the whole city: Concern over de Blasio shirking mayoral repsonsibilities while on the road

    With friends like these, Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't need enemies.

    New York Attorney General Letitia James expressed exasperation on the "Pod Save America" podcast late Thursday over her fellow Democrat's decision to run for president. 

    She told the audience that New Yorkers "need a mayor who is going to be on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week." 

    "Has the crisis in affordable housing been addressed? No. Has income inequality been addressed? Equal pay for equal work?" she asked, with the crowd responding "No!" after each question. 

    "So what is the legacy? What are you running on?" she asked. 

    Yes, de Blasio can run for president, she said, "but the question is why? Por qué? What's up?" 

    Then she smiled and added, "But he's a friend," before slumping in her chair in mock exhaustion. 

    James was a de Blasio ally when they served together on the New York City Council. 

    De Blasio's 2020 presidential campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

    The mayor was asked Friday on his weekly appearance on WNYC radio whether his absence from New York on the presidential campaign trail would hurt the city. 

    "I'm absolutely convinced that my administration and I can continue to serve this city very, very effectively," he said. "I am confident that I am going to be able to get the job done wherever I am." 

    De Blasio campaigned in Iowa on Friday and was in South Carolina on Saturday.

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