Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio support President Obama’s current diplomatic initiative toward Iran. We asked both candidates that question yesterday, and both gave indirect answers that appear to condition support on continued sanctions and other forms of pressure on the Iranian government, but were nonetheless supportive of the initiative. We spoke with Lhota at a press conference condemning the Iranian government, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, and with de Blasio at a campaign event in Queens. Here’s what they had to say.
Today the Jewish Community Relations Council hosted a press conference aimed at condemning the government of Iran and calling for continued action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The press conference, held in front of the United Nations, is an annual event timed for the start of the United Nations General Assembly session. Among the many New York elected officials and candidates participating were mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio.
Lhota Media Availability:
Following his remarks at the press conference, Joe Lhota spoke with the press on the topic of Iran, as well as several other topics. Among the questions he addressed were his view of the recent diplomatic initiative by the United States towards Iran (he seems to be in favor, although it’s “not enough”) and his view of Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy imprisoned by the United States (he seems to be in favor of considering his release). Lhota’s full press availability is here.
de Blasio Slow Speed Press Chase:
Bill de Blasio declined to answer any questions following his remarks at the press conference, leading the press on a several blocks-long, low-intensity, slow speed chase. It was not as dramatic as some of the Anthony Weiner press chase/avoidance episodes (such as this or this), but it was a notable change for de Blasio. It’s important to note that he and his staff said several times during the walk that de Blasio intended to answer questions at a 2:00 p.m. endorsement press conference in Queens, and he did so. Here’s a portion of the chase.
Lhota/deBlasio Remarks at Press Conference:
Here are Lhota’s and de Blasio’s full remarks at the JCRC press conference.
The Bronx Democratic County Committee endorsed Bill de Blasio for mayor this evening. It was unsurprising, but continued a week of positive consolidation as de Blasio garners endorsements from primary rivals and their supporters. The Bronx County organization supported Bill Thompson in the primary, and they had no real option but endorsing de Blasio in the general election. While the County Committee’s electoral influence may be modest, it’s still a plus for de Blasio as his erstwhile rivals continue to fall in behind him, smiling and singing his praises as they present a unified front to the press and the public. In contrast, Joe Lhota has yet to receive an endorsement from either of his two primary rivals. (What Lhota really needs is not just their endorsement, but for John Catsimatidis to fund a material independent expenditure effort, but that’s for a later look.)
Here is the full video of de Blasio’s press conference following his meeting with the Bronx County Committee.
Today Christine Quinn endorsed Bill de Blasio for mayor in the general election. Unsurprising as it may be that the Democratic city council speaker and former mayoral candidate endorsed the expected Democratic nominee, it was nonetheless a powerful scene as Quinn cheerfully pledged her support to her bitter rival.
Today at City Hall, Bill Thompson conceded in his race for mayor, declaring his support for Bill de Blasio.. Although it is still possible that a runoff will be held, Thompson will not seek to have one by challenging ballots during the counting process or campaigning should a runoff occur.
Bill de Blasio campaigned on Manhattan’s Upper West Side Thursday evening, talking with voters and the press outside the 72nd & Broadway Subway station. He had star power with him; actors Steve Buscemi, Kathleen Turner and Peter Jacobson accompanied him. He also had his son, and media campaign star, Dante with him.
Bill de Blasio acknowledges that he’s been living in, yes, a hair shadow.
Star Meet Star:
A Golden Globe winning/Academy Award nominated actor meets a star.
Five Democratic mayoral candidates met for their final televised debate Tuesday evening. The candidates grappled with each other in a verbal free for all, pushing toward a primary now only six days away. (The full debate is available here.)
Anthony Weiner’s post-debate comments to the press were a masterpiece, highlighting what made him a viable and, briefly, frontrunning candidate. He was funny and engaging, humorously eviscerating his opponents while remaining on message that he is a “candidate of ideas.” His full comments, which run just under 3 minutes, are worth a watch.
1199SEIU held a rally this week to push for the continuing operation of St. John’s Hospital in Far Rockaway. St. John’s is the sole hospital on the Rockaway peninsula, Peninsula Hospital having closed last year.
We’ll start our coverage with a brief clip of Dante de Blasio speaking at the rally. (We’re unclear on why the MC referred to him as Jonathan … but we think it’s Dante.)
Several mayoral candidates have called on Anthony Weiner to drop out of the race. Should those candidates refuse to appear at forums or other campaign events that include Anthony Weiner? We asked Bill de Blasio that question.
Last night, El Diario, the Hispanic Federation and Hostos Community College hosted a mayoral forum with seven Democrats, two Republicans and one Independence Party candidate. It was quite an evening.
Update #3: Quinn v. de Blasio
In this excerpt, Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio engage in a pointed discussion of their respective views of their accomplishments.
Update #2: Weiner on his House Immigration Subcommittee Work
In this excerpt, Anthony Weiner is asked what he accomplished as a member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration. He demonstrates his substantial speaking skills, giving a lengthy description of acting as “an advocate” and pledging to be “an advocate on immigration” just “as Mayor Bloomberg does on guns.” When pressed by the moderator on what he has to show from his time on that subcommittee, Weiner says that “every member of the Democratic caucus … didn’t get much done” during that time. He does, however, assert that he “tilled the fields” and “fought really hard.”
Update: O, Alma Mater, glorious …
In this brief excerpt, the candidates focus on their love for a particular high school. Really. Well worth watching.
In our initial report the candidates discuss the city’s solid waste disposal plan. It’s a unique exchange in several ways. First, more than any other forum or debate segment that I can recall, the candidates engage in a long and unusually involved discussion with each other. Second, there are some clear personal frictions that emerge. Finally, there are a few loopy moments. All in all, this segment displays more candidate personalities more effectively than any other moment that I’ve seen so far in the campaign.