De Blasio a main target during Democratic mayoral candidate debate

Democratic primary candidates for Mayor of New York City, Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, Erick Salgado and Bill de Blasio face off with Anthony Weiner, Sal Albanese and John Liu for the first debate at the Town Hall Wednesday, August 21, 2013.  Credit: Ruth Fremson/ The New York Times
From left, Democratic primary candidates for mayor of New York City Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, Erick Salgado and Bill de Blasio face off against Anthony Weiner, Sal Albanese and John Liu at Town Hall on Wednesday.
Credit: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio became a target for his opponents in the second major Democratic primary debate of the election season Wednesday night on NY1.

While last week’s debate saw more attacks against former Congressman Anthony Weiner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, recent polls have shown de Blasio as a frontrunner among voters.

During the debate, de Blasio’s rivals painted him as a flip-flopping late-to-the-game politician on several issues, including hospital closures, which was the subject of the first slam of the night.

“Bill, you’ve been great the last few weeks on the hospital closures. But where were you for the first three years of your public [advocate tenure]?” City Comptroller John Liu said. “It goes without saying … let’s be real here, let’s set the record straight.”

In discussing taxes and school funding, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson also took a swing at de Blasio.

“Let’s be honest with the public tonight. If we’re going to have a real conversation, let’s tell the truth, Bill. No more of the flip-flop, or saying things when it’s politically convenient for you,” Thompson said. “Will the real Bill de Blasio please stand up?”

At one point, when candidates were allowed to ask each other questions, Thompson and Quinn even tag-teamed de Blasio, slamming him for a campaign ad claiming he was the “only candidate” who supported ending the stop-and-frisk era.

“Bill, the New York Times has reported that that ad is inaccurate. Why don’t you take that ad down, Bill?” Thompson said. “Stop lying to the people of New York City.”

De Blasio responded that he was the the only candidate who would do three things to end the controversial police practice, including removing Police Comissioner Ray Kelly, installing an inspector general for the police and supporting the anti-bias bill vetoed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Quinn then stepped in.

“My question is to Comptroller Thompson,” Quinn said. “I want to know if you’re satisfied with the answer you just got.”

Thompson said he wasn’t satisfied and added the response was a “part of a pattern” of dishonesty.

De Blasio joked of the attacks, “In professional wrestling they allow tag teams.”

Throughout the debate, Weiner had to deflect fewer attacks from rivals and managed to get a few laughs from the audience when he said he would support drinking alcohol on stoops, parks and beaches.

Relatively unknown candidates former Brooklyn City Councilman Sal Albanese and the Rev. Erick Salgado at many times decried having less time to speak or less opportunities to air their opinions.

The entirety of debate can be viewed here.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…