NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who defeated his opponents in 2013 by emphasizing income inequality, is hoping for a similar come-from-behind victory as he enters the crowded Democratic field for president.
De Blasio announced his candidacy through an online video Thursday morning, followed by an anticipated live appearance on Good Morning America in Times Square alongside his wife, Chirlane McCray. He is the 23rd Democrat to join the race to defeat President Donald Trump.
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Later de Blasio is heading to key voting states — first Iowa, where he will address the Truman Club in Sioux City on Friday, then South Carolina for the weekend.
“It doesn’t matter if you live in a city or a rural area, a big state, a small state, it doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is — people in every part of this country feel stuck, or even like they’re going backwards. But the rich got richer,” de Blasio says in the three-minute online video.
The spot begins with snippets of interviews with de Blasio as he zips through the bustling city and sits in the official mayoral residence of Gracie Mansion discussing his record in New York City — supporting a state increase in the minimum wage, ensuring city-funded pre-kindergarten to all 4-year-olds, signing into law a bill expanding paid sick day requirements for workers.
“There’s plenty of money in this world; there’s plenty of money in this country — it’s just in the wrong hands,” he says in the opening, repeating a line he has used throughout the past few months as he gears up for this campaign.
He and his wife, Chirlane McCray, speak of the need for health care that is “available to all,” including mental health — McCray’s signature initiative that has been beset by financial and accountability problems.
He then pivots to discussing Trump and promises to “take him on.”
“I’m a New Yorker. I’ve known Trump’s a bully for a long time. This is not news to me or anyone else here. And I know how to take him on,” de Blasio continued.
He spoke about the president’s border policy, showing photos of children being separated from parents at the country’s southern border, and images of hurricane flooding.
Whether de Blasio will even qualify for debates or can raise adequate money is unclear: He has only certainly reached 1 percent in two polls, one percentage point shy of the number needed to get on the debate stage. His campaign team believes that a reading of a third poll may end up securing him a spot, spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie said.
She also said that money he has been raising since last year for his federal Fairness PAC will not be transferred to a presidential account he plans to file paperwork to open Thursday.