Whether or not he decides to run for president in 2020, Bill de Blasio thinks that the Democratic Party needs to move to left. Speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN, de Blasio argued that many “moderate” Democrats still haven’t realized that the way to win back the White House is to advocate for things that working-class Americans need.
“We should have single-payer in this country, we should have Medicare for all, no question.” de Blasio said. “This is the kind of thing that Democrats should stand for. If we say to the American people, ‘Our job is to get through health care no matter what, no matter how much money you make, no matter what your situation,’ that’s the kind of thing that’s going to resonate with the American people.”
Promising to embark on a national tour to advocate for the policies he plans to implement in New York City, such as universal health care and guaranteed personal time off, de Blasio could easily begin a presidential campaign if he so chose. Asked by Tapper if it was in the cards for his future, he demurred.
“I never rule things out,” de Blasio said, stating that his intention behind the move is to shift the possible conversation to the left, and to encourage other Democrats to speak about the problems felt by working-class Americans and the solutions they can bring to the table. “I want to push this whole party,” he continued.
Moderate Democrats, he argued, won’t be able to win if they don’t do anything more than oppose Trump’s administration. According to de Blasio, they need to speak about issues.
“There are still a lot of moderate voices in the party that did not learn the lessons of 2016, that are not listening to what people need in this country,” he said.
Tapper described this stance as “radical” and attempted to push back. He repeatedly asked de Blasio who has the authority to decide “whose hands are the wrong hands,” referring to his State of the City address in which he said that there is “plenty of money in the city, it’s just in the wrong hands.”
In any case, de Blasio, claims that America’s problems run deeper than just the current administration, that they stand at the end of a long history of the one percent redistributing wealth from the poor to themselves.
“This is systematic. This has been an agenda From Reagan’s administration right on through to Trump’s, to take money from working people and give it to the one percent,” de Blasio said. “This was not an accident. Democrats and progressives need to be blunt about this.”
When asked if he would endorse New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand if she decided to run, de Blasio was also noncommittal.
“I don’t talk about hypothetical situations,” he said. “There’s a lot of good candidates. My point is the message and the ideas that we should be talking about.”