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NYC Mayor de Blasio says Clinton 'would have won the election' — with Sanders' economic message

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Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event at University of New Hampshire on Sept. 28. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who supported Hillary Clinton for president, now says the Democratic nominee "would have won" had she offered a message of economic change like that of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist.

During an interview with WABC-TV Sunday, de Blasio was asked about the election and what Clinton should have done differently. Specifically, the Democratic mayor was asked if he thought Clinton could have beaten President-elect Donald Trump by running on Sanders' economic message.

"Everyone asks that question, and the first thing to say is it's highly theoretical. We don't know how all the factors would have played out. I think Bernie would have had some real strengths but also some real weaknesses," de Blasio replied.

"I think the message would have won the election, but it's a message that Hillary Clinton had in her platform and I honestly believed downplayed in the last few months of the election, including the debates, when she should have been pumping it up," the mayor said, adding that if Clinton would have offered a message of "economic change," perhaps it would have resulted in a different outcome.

He added that he'll be the "first to admit" that those in the states that that flipped from voting for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 to voting for Trump in 2016 were frustrated by the current economic landscape and upset by both major political parties in Washington, D.C.

"And Trump wisely ran as an outsider from both parties. I mean he went after the Republican leadership almost as much as he went after the Democratic leadership. A very brilliant move on his part," de Blasio said, adding that voters in America's heartland want different results from the ones they're getting now.

The liberal mayor went on to make the case for Americans in the heartland supporting big-government policies.

"I would argue a lot of them depend on federal investment, too, to be able to have hopes economically, and that also could become a contradiction if they don't get the help they deserve," de Blasio said.

(H/T: The Hill)

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