Rivals attack Bill de Blasio in final Democratic mayoral debate

Credit: Bill de Blasio for Mayor
Bill de Blasio has become the frontrunner in the Democratic race for New York mayor. Credit: Bill de Blasio for Mayor

Standing in the middle of his opponents on the debate stage, mayoral contender Bill de Blasio fended off attacks from all sides Tuesday night just hours after a new poll revealed that he could potentially have enough support to avoid a runoff election.

His rivals accused him of flip-flopping on issues such as extending term limits, and criticized his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to expand prekindergarten and after-school programs, saying it would never be approved in Albany.

“We’ll have support on the ground from the people, and that’s what matters,” de Blasio said.

“We can’t have pie-in-the-sky promises for New York parents when they’re desperate for real change,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Quinn, once a frontrunner in the race, also slammed the public advocate over reports that he accepted campaign donations from property owners who appeared on his “Worst Landlords Watch” list.

“It’s Bill talking out of both sides of his mouth, making a list that’s supposed to help tenants but really it ended up becoming a campaign fundraising list for the public advocate,” she said.

De Blasio defended his bad landlords list, saying it succeeded in getting the property owners to fix their buildings.

Even Anthony Weiner defended de Blasio — at least on the point about the landlords.

“No one fought harder to stand up to slumlords than Bill has, I mean, that’s not the good issue to hit him on,” he said. “Term limits, yes. He’s flip-flopped on that. His policies aren’t as good as mine. But accusing him of being a defender of slumlords is pretty ridiculous.”

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson accused de Blasio of being inconsistent on issues and doing what’s “politically expedient.”

“Why should the people of the city of New York believe you, Bill, given your history, given the fact that that history has been one of doing things that are in your self-interest?” Thompson said.

Still, de Blasio did not back down and promised that he could offer New Yorkers a change from the Bloomberg administration.

“This is a city that has always believed in big, bold ideas,” he said. “The notion that we can’t go to Albany and get what we deserve, that we can’t convince the Legislature that we need the right to tax people that make a half million or more, that’s old thinking. That’s not the thinking that’s going to move us forward.”

According to the polls, this mayoral race has seen three frontrunners, with de Blasio surging ahead in the most recent polls. In the Quinnipiac poll released on Tuesday, he had 43 percent of support, followed by Thompson with 20 percent, Quinn with 18 percent, Weiner with 7 percent and City Comptroller John Liu with 4 percent.

Yesterday’s mayoral debate was the final showdown for the Democratic candidates ahead of the primary election next Tuesday.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Cabbie tried to sexually assault passenger with kids…

NYPD is on the lookout for a taxi driver suspected of trying to sexually assault a female passenger while her three kids were in the car.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…