Bloomberg tore into the Democratic candidate in an interview published Saturday in New York magazine, ahead of the Tuesday primary.
Here’s key excerpt:
Then there’s Bill de Blasio, who’s become the Democratic front-runner. He has in some ways been running a class-warfare campaign—
Class-warfare and racist.
I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. 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.
But his whole campaign is that there are two different cities here. And I’ve never liked that kind of division. The way to help those who are less fortunate is, number one, to attract more very fortunate people. They are the ones that pay the bills. The people that would get very badly hurt here if you drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes to try to help. Tearing people apart with this “two cities” thing doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s a destructive strategy for those you want to help the most. He’s a very populist, very left-wing guy, but this city is not two groups, and if to some extent it is, it’s one group paying for services for the other.
It’s a shame, because I’ve always thought he was a very smart guy.
But it’s not just De Blasio. Eliot Spitzer, too, has run an anti-Bloomberg campaign. If they were to both win, how much of a repudiation of you would that be?
Update (7:30 PM): New York Magazine changed the version of this exchange that appeared in the interview.