About a month after Bill de Blasio won a class-based populist campaign for mayor of New York, President Barack Obama delivered a national address on income inequality.
But de Blasio told TheBlaze this issue has been a concern for the president for a long time.
“We watch the State of the Union addresses each year and the other times that the president has laid out a vision for the future,” de Blasio said in a response to a question from TheBlaze. “It has often been about crisis in a lot of different ways, I have to say, I think he’s been sounding the alarm and offering the vision for quite a while.”
De Blasio and 15 other recently elected mayors met Friday with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden at the White House, where they talked about extending unemployment benefit, raising the minimum wage and funding universal pre-school.
After the meeting, several of the mayors took questions from reporters outside the White House.
TheBlaze asked de Blasio, “Do you think your successful campaign in New York helped influence the president’s recent focus on income inequality?”
“I can certainly say he was already there and very squarely,” de Blasio responded. “I’m sure my colleagues feel the same way.”
“We watch the State of the Union addresses each year and the other times that the president has laid out a vision for the future,” de Blasio continued. “It has often been about addressing the decline in income and wages and benefits in this country. It has often been about crisis in a lot of different ways. I have to say, I think he’s been sounding the alarm and offering the vision for quite a while.”
TheBlaze followed, asking if the mayors discussed the Affordable Care Act’s impact on their cities. Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh answered, “a bit.”
Before going into the meeting, Obama talked about the need for more funding for transportation, economic development and extending unemployment benefits.
“I’ve always said that mayors don’t have time to be ideological, and they don’t really have time to be partisan, because they, every day, are held accountable for concretely delivering the services that people count on all across the country,” Obama said. “And I think it’s for that reason that when we think about mayors, we think about folks who actually get stuff done.”