Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to defend his use of taxpayer money to fund his NYPD security detail while traveling for his bid for presidency.
“I’m obviously in a high-profile situation here,” de Blasio said on WNYC radio on Friday. The New York City mayor announced his bid for presidency earlier this month. He joins a large pool of democrats already in the running, becoming the 24th candidate. He is currently polling at less than 1 percent among the Democratic contenders, however, and has had as little as eight people attend his out-of-state campaign events. After he announced he will be running for 2020, he was ridiculed by local elected officials, late night talk show hosts, residents and President Donald Trump. His bid is considered to be a long shot.
Last week, de Blasio received the distinction of ‘most disliked candidate’. He earned the highest negative rating among all the other Democratic contenders, as an overwhelming 45 percent of American voters said they don’t like him, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Only about 8 percent of voters across the parties said they like him. “He’s been hammered by the late-night talk shows and I don’t think you can underestimate those shows as far as the impact they have on the how people feel about politicians,” said Quinnipiac analyst Tim Malloy.
As reported by the NY Post, in de Blasio’s past trips to early primary states, the mayor brought along four members of his official NYPD security team. In a recent interview with WNYC radio, host Brian Lehrer asked Mayor de Blasio to confirm that “New York City taxpayers are footing the bill for security on your out-of-town campaign trips rather than your campaign paying for that?”
De Blasio did his best to avoid answering the query. “Any question like that, and there’s a reason I say this, Brian, NYPD needs to address all the question around security. Anything that you ask has ramifications for detailing what kind of security I have and don’t have,” he responded. “Everything we do is with the understanding that we’re trying to do things economical and smart,” he added.
Lehrer did not back down. “Why not have the campaign pay for campaign security and maybe fully fund the libraries?” he pressed on, referring to the mayor’s plan to cut $11 million in funding for NYC’s library system.
“It’s a very, very small amount of money. It’s not anywhere near what we’re talking about for libraries,” responded the mayor.