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‘It’s Time We Put Working People First’: Gothamist

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From his presidential campaign video (Bill de Blasio 2020)

Mayor Bill de Blasio officially kicked off his presidential campaign on Thursday morning by sharing a video to introduce himself to America, before appearing on Good Morning America for his first interview as a 2020 candidate. He begins the video by saying, “There’s plenty of money in this country, it’s just in the wrong hands!” (One of his common refrains).

The three-minute video positions de Blasio as a working people-first leader who has brought free, universal pre-K; guaranteed health care, and a $15 minimum wage to New York City—as well as legal assistance to migrant families at the border, a proactive lawmaker when it comes to the environment, and, maybe most importantly to voters, someone who can take on President Donald Trump.

The opening montage features New York City-scapes and New Yorkers. Early on, de Blasio says, “Here in NYC, a place that is legendarily tough and big and complicated, the good thing about New Yorkers is that they look the same if they’re really pissed off at you or really like you.” (At this point, de Blasio appears to be sitting in his mayoral SUV which… could raise questions.)


(Bill de Blasio 2020)

First Lady Chirlane McCray is featured around the one-minute mark, talking about health care and pre-K. Then, at the 1:30 point of the video, the footage shifts from the city to rural America and faces of “regular” Americans, with de Blasio narrating, “It doesn’t matter if you live in a city or a rural area, a big state a small state, it doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is. People in every part of this country feel stuck or even like they’re going backwards. But the rich got richer.”

Then, ominous music plays as the scene shifts to the White House. “I’m a New Yorker I’ve known Trump‘s a bully for a long time,” de Blasio says in the video. This is not news to me or to anyone else here. And I know how to take him on.”

He reiterates this at the close of the video, saying, “Don’t back down in the face of a bully. Confront him. Take him on,” while delivering his final message: “As president, I will take on the wealthy, I will take on the big corporations. I will not rest until this government serves working people. As mayor of the largest city in America, I’ve done just that… Donald Trump must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before, and I will do it again. I’m Bill de Blasio. And I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first.”

De Blasio, as it’s been pointed out, is entering a very crowded field of Democratic contenders. For instance, the firm that produced de Blasio‘s memorable first TV ad for his 2013 mayoral campaign—yes, the one with a then-15-year-old Dante de Blasio talking about his dad—has signed on to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s team. (South Bend’s population is a little over 100,000.)

Neither Dante, or de Blasio and McCray’s daughter, Chiara, are featured in this campaign video. But the First Lady will be joining de Blasio on Good Morning, America.

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