Bernie Sanders just got a high-profile endorsement from one of his former rivals for the Oval Office. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dropped out of the presidential race himself in September, gave the Vermont senator the thumbs-up on Friday, which the New York Times notes is the opposite of what he did in 2016, when he endorsed Hillary Clinton over Sanders. "I have called for a bold, progressive agenda, and that's exactly what Senator Sanders has championed for decades," de Blasio said in a statement released by the Sanders campaign, adding he's putting his weight behind Sanders because he "stands with working families." The mayor is set to stump with Sanders in Nevada starting Sunday, ahead of caucuses there on Feb. 22. CBS News notes de Blasio is now in a position to push back hard against his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, who's been rising in the polls.
"There's no way in the world we should nominate a billionaire who epitomizes the status quo," de Blasio said after Bloomberg announced his candidacy. Per Politico, de Blasio could prove a "useful validator" for Sanders, due to his fairly large platform as New York's mayor, push to fight inequality, labor union ties, and biracial family. However, both Politico and the Times note that de Blasio offered his endorsement for Sanders only after the latter's victory in the New Hampshire primary and neck-and-neck finish with Pete Buttigieg in Iowa. Still, de Blasio now appears all in. "New Yorkers know all too well the damage caused by Donald Trump's xenophobia, bigotry, and recklessness, and Bernie is the candidate to take him on and take him down," the mayor says in the release. (Read more Bernie Sanders 2020 stories.)