Bloomberg Slams Mayoral Frontrunner's Campaign as 'Racist'

Says Bill de Blasio is using his interracial family to score votes

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 7, 2013 4:26 PM CDT

(Newser) – One answer in a lengthy New York magazine Q and A with Michael Bloomberg is making headlines all on its own. In the interview, New York's outgoing mayor accuses Democratic frontrunner Bill de Blasio of running a "racist" campaign in his bid for for the top job. Asked to explain, Bloomberg says: "He’s making an appeal using his family to gain support," referring to de Blasio featuring his biracial son in campaign ads. Bloomberg goes on:

  • "I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about."

De Blasio has already hit back. "It’s obviously inappropriate and I’m surprised to hear him say it,” he says, per the NY Post. “I’m very proud of my family and the way they’ve handled themselves in a very difficult campaign circumstance." His Democratic opponents Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson, the only African-American in the race, have also criticized Bloomberg's remarks. Meanwhile, Buzzfeed has dug up a number of examples of Bloomberg apparently pointing out that he's Jewish to attract the Jewish vote, including an eight-page glossy brochure he sent out in 2005 promoting "Mike the Mensch," with photos of him wearing a yarmulke and a headline that reads "Orthodox Jewish Families a Priority For Bloomberg."

Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio, center, and his son Dante greet commuters at the Staten Island ferry terminal.
Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio, center, and his son Dante greet commuters at the Staten Island ferry terminal.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio, right, is joined by his daughter Chiara, center, and wife Chirlane McCray during a campaign rally in Brooklyn.
Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio, right, is joined by his daughter Chiara, center, and wife Chirlane McCray during a campaign rally in Brooklyn.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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