New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has become a campaign issue for some GOP presidential candidates, including Chris Christie, who's slammed him as a "liberal, crazy mayor," and Jeb Bush, who blasted him for kowtowing to the city's teachers' union.
According to Capital New York,
the New Jersey governor piled on de Blasio twice in as many days this week.
"Ultimately, if you're going to put liberals like Bill de Blasio in office in New York City — every one of us who has spent time in New York City has seen [the] decline of the quality of life here in New York City," Christie said on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor"
Tuesday night, Capital New York reports.
On Wednesday, he doubled-down, telling an education forum in New Hampshire that charter school executive Eva Moskowitz, a longtime de Blasio adversary, "is really having a hard time with this new liberal, crazy mayor in New York City," Capital New York reports.
"We’ve now got a mayor in New York City who’s trying to turn back 20 years of educational progress that’s happened in New York City because he’s beholden to the teachers' union," Christie said.
Bush hit the same theme at the education forum, saying de Blasio pushed for a universal pre-kindergarten program to mollify the teacher’s unions – but that Florida benefited from a "privately driven" system.
The "de Blasio [system] — you know, we'll hire union teachers, expand, make this into another thriving business for the bureaucracies and for the unions," Bush said, Capital New York reports.
Other Republican presidential contenders have piled on as well.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz last January blasted de Blasio's charter school opposition, the New York Observer reported.
"New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, one of the first things he did was go up and try to throw young African-American kids out of the schools that were performing for them in Harlem," Cruz charged.
"It’s a sad thing to see politicians more interested in pleasing the union bosses who are writing checks to him than taking care of the kids who desperately want hope and a ray of opportunity for the future."
In June, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee hit de Blasio’s policing practices, the Washington Post reported.
"In New York, where a new mayor decided that some of the policies of previous mayors — which have been very effective in dramatically reducing murders and violent crime — he thought that their methods were too heavy-handed so he reversed them," he said, according to the Post.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki
weighed in on a publicly waged feud between the mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying he didn't "understand what de Blasio is thinking."
"I don't think it's particularly smart," he said. "There are always personal battles. You keep them behind the scenes."
De Blasio is a cautionary tale for conservatives, Republican political consultant Tom Doherty tells Capital New York.
"The Republicans have to pick their boogeyman — it looks like they’re picking de Blasio," he tells the news site. "It is always good to have a whipping boy right? If you’re a Republican and you have 'the Democrat' that you can point to with some failed policies, you’re using that as an example of, 'This is where Hillary wants to take our country.'"
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