The very crowded Democratic presidential field got even more crowded Thursday, with the official announcement that Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, is running for president.
De Blasio, who was first elected mayor of the nation’s largest city in 2013, announced the campaign in a video, and then gave his first interview, with ABC News‘ George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.
In the announcement video shared on YouTube, de Blasio emphasized the slogan “Working People First.”
“There’s plenty of money in this world, there’s plenty of money in this country,” de Blasio said. “It’s just in the wrong hands.”
In the video, he emphasized New York, as he rode around the city in the car.
In the Good Morning America interview, de Blasio dismissed a poll that said a large majority of New York Democrats don’t want him to run for president, noting that he was elected mayor by big majorities in both 2013 and 2017.
The mayor also had negative words to say about President Donald Trump, who is also from New York City.
“Right now the federal government is not on the side of working people, and that’s because Donald Trump is playing a big con on America,” de Blasio said, giving the president the nickname “Con Don.”
Bill de Blasio is the first mayor of New York City to run for president since John Lindsay in 1972, although Rudy Giuliani ran for president in 2008 years after leaving office. de Blasio’s predecessor as mayor, Michael Bloomberg, publicly flirted with presidential runs in multiple cycles, including the current one, but never actually launched a bid.
The 58-year-old de Blasio was born in New York City but spent much of his youth in Massachusetts, and was elected mayor of New York despite being an avowed fan of the Boston Red Sox. He was an advisor to politicians, even managing Hillary Clinton’s 2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate until he was elected to the City Council the following year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York entered the Democratic presidential race, hoping his urban policies will resonate nationally. He faces steep odds. https://t.co/44GL2r7rC9
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 16, 2019
While he’s often been criticized for various public gaffes, as well as a long-running feud with parts of the New York Police Department, de Blasio has been a popular mayor and was re-elected easily in 2017.
De Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, is African-American, and the couple has two biracial children, with their son, Dante, famously appearing in a political ad during de Blasio’s first run for mayor.
If elected, de Blasio would be the tallest president (at 6-feet-5-inches), the first Italian-American president, and the first incumbent mayor of a city to be elected president, although Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, and Calvin Coolidge had been mayors earlier in their political careers.