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Bill de Blasio: Democrats became ‘party of the elite’ to too many Americans

May 22, 2019

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said the Democratic party has become the “party of the elite” to too many people and that he fears Democrats don’t emphasize the needs of working people enough.

“What the Democrats have not done well enough in recent years is be the party of working people. To too many Americans, somehow Democrats became the party of the elite,” Mr. de Blasio, who entered the crowded race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination last week, said on MSNBC.

Asked if he wants the “elite” to vote for him, the big-city mayor said: “I want working people to know the government will be on their side. I want working people to know that we will challenge the wealthy and the 1 percent on behalf of working people.”

“My fear always is that Democrats talk about a lot of things, except what working people need,” he said.

Pressed again on whether he wants more people than that group to vote for him, Mr. de Blasio said: “I want the biggest coalition possible, but it has to be based on working people in this country, who I guarantee you are not hearing this message clearly enough from the Democratic party.”

“When the Democratic party says squarely, we’re going to fix that, we’re going to be on the side of working people - that’s when we see the kind of coalition build across all party lines, all regions to win back this country,” he said.

Mr. de Blasio says that unlike other candidates in the race, he has an actual record of successfully shepherding liberal priorities like pre-K, paid leave, and expanded health care.

But a Quinnipiac poll released this week suggests he has ground to make up across the board.

Roughly half of those surveyed said they hadn’t heard enough about Mr. de Blasio to form an opinion of him. Of those who had, 45 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him, compared to 8 percent who reported a favorable view.

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