After answering several reporter questions, the mayor abruptly stated that he was going to "go off message" and then proceeded to blast the previous mayoral administration for attacking his leadership.
"Listen, I am so tired of the previous administration and their antics," Adams said.
He claimed members of former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's (D) administration have relentlessly scolded Adams' policies since he took office.
"Let us do our job. They had eight years to do their job – eight years to fix Rikers, eight years to deal with crime, eight years to deal with education, eight years to deal with early childhood education for children with disabilities, eight years to fix NYCHA [New York City Housing Authority]. They had all the time to do their job," Adams stated.
"But now, once they're gone, they're experts on everything," he added.
Specifically, Adams called out de Blasio's former "comms guy" – presumably referring to Bill Neidhardt – as "probably the worst comms guy in the history of communication."
"But we have the previous administration that just left the house! They just left! They left the house in total disarray! And then, they come and say, 'Look at the mess … that you created, Eric,'" Adams stated. "No! It's the mess we inherited."
Adams claimed that former New York mayoral administrations, including Mike Bloomberg's (D), David Dinkins' (D), and even Rudy Giuliani's (R), have offered their help to Adams' officials.
Towards the end of the address, Adams clarified that he was not accusing de Blasio of criticizing his leadership. Instead, he described the former mayor as "extremely helpful."
"I'm the pilot. Everyone else is a passenger. So those people who are praying for the plane to crash, you're on the plane!" Adams said, concluding his speech. "We should all be praying, 'Eric, land this thing.' Let's land this thing."
On Wednesday, de Blasio addressed Adams' statements through a series of posts on Twitter.
"I certainly understand how difficult it is to govern this city, which is why I have offered him help in many forms over the last year and a half. We all need him to succeed and should help in any way we can," de Blasio wrote.
"I sympathize with his frustration with certain critics but want to emphasize this: no one speaks for me but me. Finally, for all the members of my team who served this city with tremendous devotion, especially during the pandemic, I want to thank you. You made this city better," he continued.
Following Adams' remarks, Bill Neidhardt fired back on social media, stating, "Adams hasn't done a thing to address the housing crisis, but it is quite easy to live in his head rent free."
He also updated his name on Twitter to read, "Bill 'the worst communications guy' Neidhardt," mocking Adams' remarks.
"Every New Yorker has a right to speak out when Mayor Adams slashes school budgets, raises rents and echoes right-wing talking points," Neidhardt said in a statement to the New York Times. "Instead of whining and attacking his constituents, the mayor should tackle the crises working people face every day in our city. Grow up."