New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, less than 48 hours after being elected to his second term in office, Thursday addressed speculation that he might seek a run at the White House, commenting that his focus over the next four years will be on his city.
"My focus is New York City," he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist. "I've got four years of intense urgent action to do everything I want to do in this city. That's what I'm here to do."
The mayor further laughed off a question from Geist about what he'd do if the Democratic Party came to him and said it believes he's the person who could defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.
"I would say 'in Willie's rich fantasy land,'" said de Blasio, but he didn't rule out helping the party in any way he can to reach a "clear progressive economic message."
"[If we had that] had in 2016, no question, we would have won," said the mayor. "I want to be part of the solution, but my job is here in New York City."
De Blasio, a Democrat, also spoke out against proposed GOP tax reform legislation, as he thinks Americans are coming to realize that "they're being bamboozled."
"It is a rip-off of the middle class," he told the program. "I know now as a result of the election that a lot of Republicans say, 'let's rush the tax plan even more, we need it, we need an achievement.'
"But the problem is people are going to realize all over the country [the bill] ends up being double taxation, ends up being tax increase for the middle class and giveaway to the rich and corporations. That's the kind of thing that will dig the Republican hole deeper. They don't realize yet if they try trickledown economics again, it's just going to backfire on them."
De Blasio, meanwhile, attributed his win by almost 40 points on Tuesday to being connected to his community.
"In this work, you better be learning something every single day," said the mayor. "It's a humbling experience. What I learned is go out to all the people, neighborhoods, including places you're not popular and talk about the changes you are making in many people's lives that are tangible."
The mayor said he had 43 town hall meetings, and pointed out he has 8.5 million constituents.
"I always say every single one of them has a strong opinion, and I heard a lot of those strong opinions, but it helps you to grow to listen to what is on people's minds," de Blasio said.
"They wanted to hear about very tangible change. We showed specific ways to create more affordable housing, specific ways we're going to fix schools and give free pre-K to people in New York City."
He said he'd recommend to all Democrats to get out of their offices and listen to constituents' concerns, and to show them that "you can make a difference in their life that they can touch and feel, because otherwise they're not going to be moved."
De Blasio had issues with the New York Police Department in the early part of his career, but now has gained their support, in part because he ended the city's "stop and frisk" program.
"I was proud to support them and give them the resources," the mayor said. "We added 2,000 more officers on patrol. We created neighborhood policing approach meant to bond police and community again and literally get people on a first name basis knowing each other and having that mutual respect."
The police union, he continued, "often stirred the pot. That's some of what they do all over the country. But I think a lot of rank and file officers saw over time that I believed in making real investments in them, more training, better equipment, all the things that could make their lives better and safer."
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