NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Deflects Criticism for Being in Iowa During Blackout: ‘Doesn’t Matter Where You Are’
Mayor Bill de Blasio assured MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that he handled the city blackout properly, despite being on the campaign trail in Iowa rather than on the ground in the New York City.
“When you are a chief executive it doesn’t matter where you are. You are in charge,” said de Blasio.
“So what do you take of the criticism people have aimed at you. The New York Times this morning claimed that you, quote, dithered. What more could you have done?” Scarborough asked de Blasio.
“Obviously the fire department, the police department, emergency services prepare for things like this. The important thing was to get the right people in the right place. That’s why it was handled, not a single injury,” said de Blasio.
The city’s blackout lasted around five hours and affected about 70,000 residents on the western side of Midtown.
De Blasio added that he holds much more responsibility than legislators. “If you are a chief executive, you understand the world differently than legislators. God bless legislators but I’m responsible every time if there is a crisis, it is responded to.”
He defended the city’s handling of the situation and promised to hold energy company Con Edison’s feet to the fire. “Our agencies performed exactly the way we prepared them to perform, they got to people and they provided the help people needed.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also blasted the Mayor for being absent during the blackout. “Mayors are important and situations like this come up,” Cuomo, de Blasio’s longtime nemesis, said on Saturday night. “And you have to be on site.”
The criticisms seem to be part of a larger consensus that the mayor is concerning himself with a hopeless presidential campaign (he consistently sits at the bottom of polls) meanwhile shirking responsibilities to New York City.
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