New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joins Jon L. to talk about staying in the race, running a city, achieving universal pre-K, beefing with Cuomo, and why he's still a Red Sox fan.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to POD save America, I'm Jon Lovett. On Friday, I sat down with New York mayor and presidential candidate bill De Blasio for the latest installment of our series interviewing. All the democratic presidential candidates talked about. Why he's staying in the race? The work he's done in New York City, the ill fated Amazon deal his progressive heard and why, as the mayor of New York, he's still a red Sox fan, we had it was a fascinating conversation, he's very tall check it out. He is a democratic candidate for president and the mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio. Welcome back to the pot. Thank you John. You were a guest when we were in Brooklyn
yeah. I was, I believe, our very first live show. It was very cool. We had no idea we were doing. We didn't know that we needed to have chairs in advance that there wasn't something to be in charge of chairs. The chairperson is very important. We professionalize now you're in our studio. Thank you. You've seen us from the beginning now, you're here you're running the biggest city in the country. You can start everyday with an edible bagel here, the first democratic mayor you're, the first democratic mayor to be re elected in New York City since Ed Koch. More than thirty years ago, in a little over a year into your second term, you decide to run for President yep. Why? Because the country is just not working for a lot of people, I mean look. It became clearer and clearer to me. Even though we've been l make big changes in New York that we can't make the changes we need for people all over this country without a very, very different approach. Washington, America is not working for working people, that's just the bottom line. The the government at this point is
captive to the one percent and to change. It is not just a matter of having good ideas. Good ideas are crucial. Good policy positions are crucial, but understanding how to actually make big changes and fight the opposition that comes with. That's what I've been doing for six years in I think we would all agree is one of the toughest environments in the country and it works by the approach. I've taken is progressive, bold sharp, not have measures. I said we're going to pre K for all our kids. We did that. I said we were going to give people paid sick leave. Who didn't have it? We did it. I said that folks, who don't have health insurance should have a guarantee of healthcare were doing that right now in New York. Anyone doesn't have health insurance will have access to a primary care doctor at our public hospitals and clinics. The these are not easy things to do, especially on the scale of a city of eight dot. Six million people-
I've been doing it an look. I look at other candidates with great appreciation admiration, but they just have not done that. They have not had to take the ideas and put it into action, so I'm running 'cause. I believe I can actually bring these changes to people. So is that you, you share a lot ideologically with Elizabeth Warren. I think we Bernie Sanders. They have mounted a campaign based around taking on structural economic challenges on RE century power in the working class very similar to the message you're arguing are. You is an implicit critique of those candidates that, while you share a lot of the same ideas, they don't how to do what you know how to do. Do you do you know I mean that seems to be the difference. Yeah look. I can honestly admire my colleagues and and burning Elizabeth two people like profoundly admire, but also say that I bring a different set of skills, a different history, a different approach. And the issue always is talking, you know something about the presidency. This is a job
that, on one level, no one could be prepared for right, but on the other level you could say that it really helps to walk through the fire. It really helps to have run something to have gone through. The challenge is to take an ideas. Put him into practice, dealt with the opposition. I mean one of the Keith things you learn as a leader is. You are guaranteed a lot of folks going to try and stop you, especially if you're trying to make big changes, especially if you're calling for higher taxes on the wealthy or you know a really redistribution in this country. Ah lot of folks very powerful folks will try and stop you. You got to know how to deal with that, and not just theoretically but from real life. So I argue that hey, there's, there's no greater crucible, there's no greater a proving ground than New York City. The job is called the second toughest job in am that being mayor in New York City and as a progressive, and I was one of the folks who I'm very proud of this. You know in the wave of folks who came out of the Post Occupy movement era. I was one of the
first to run on a bold platform. It said we have to go at income inequality just right at the heart of it. We cannot accept tree with this kind of stratification, nor a city like New York, and I will not supposed to be able to win. I was I was ah underdogs underdog, but I was really blunt, but people about we had ended up in a situation that was unacceptable and change was needed and I was able to motivate a lot of people to believe that change could happen, and lo and behold create that momentum that constituency that entered for actual change. No, how to do that living that very different reality of them being a legislator, and might God bless legislators, but I bring something different to the equation. Why do you think right now? You know you did not make the third debate. I think it a great debate performance little aggro, but it was but you you you major case you campaigning in Iowa there, a bunch of candidates who did not make the next round of he said. You know what this is my moment to step aside you're, not doing that. It seems to me that if you're
continue in the race, you have to do something different to make. That message reach people. Are you thinking about that? Oh yeah, John. I think one part of it is it's very interesting that the opportunities I've add in the month of August to speak to the american people directly are far superior to the opportunities I had before that this shows great example, on the other of very very many people, yet well you're, gonna a so many, so many people come a long way since that humble first appearance in Brooklyn you that so, but the ah, the you know, I went on Hannity as a very explicit act to go and confront him and challenging. I didn't get a good job on Hannity. Thank you and a lot of people appreciate the notion of going to the lion's den and actually speaking, to the fox list, dinners and viewers who are not necessarily lost to Democrats and progressives on many levels, and we should never separate. We should be able to separate the network from the people watch it a lot of whom are working people
who want change. So what I'm saying to you is I'm seeing more and more opportunity to get a message across clearly I gotta keep updating the strategy and I need to from where I've been in. The polls which bluntly been one percent to two percent to be able to get in those debates. So it's it's a manageable distance, but I keep reminding folks. This thing is so unpredictable. I mean look uh. I think you know in the time that you were involved with the Obama world. It may have been the last time we saw something that was. I don't use a word like normal but predictable. Let's say where the rules of politics had some some makes sense of where in the great unknown. Now I I always say there is no one who understands american politics at this point, and that means there's also a tremendous opportunity if someone has a different idea, different approach, different history, to bring through at any given moment and that breakthrough can happen in a matter of days. So you know
is actually listening to some of your ass to me or segments and they were fascinating their fascinating because, as the mayor of New York, you get questions about sweeping economic changes confronting the country and about trees. Putting too much waste on sidewalks of somebody holds hot hole. So New York faces very serious issues right now. It's but there's a public house crisis. There's a federal, monitor, that's been put in charge at the homeless pop, not in charge of Monica monitor the homeless population remains stubbornly high. You're dealing with a rise in homelessness. On the subways you've just been handed a report about gifted and talented programs. That's created a whole new Contra. We see you passed a measure to basically put the new deal in place. That's going to have it's a massive undertaking. Yes,. York city is one of the largest economies in the world. The last
sitting, New York City mayor to run for president, was John Lindsay. Half a century ago. Didn't work out well, in part, is a blowback you face from the city for not doing the job you were in Iowa when there was a black in New York. What do you say to new Yorkers who say we just gave you a second term. You want to run on your record great, but do it when you're done, because this job, as you said, is the second hardest job in the country and you're running for the first, while still trying to do the second, so I would say first of all think about the other way of for putting that I'll answer, but I just want to say there's a flip of that. That's pretty profound um right now in New York City has the most jobs ever had in its history. We've added half a million jobs. Since I became mayor well, we have the highest graduation rate. We've ever had. We just got test scores that came back highest. We've ever had improved the impact of our pre K program. First time would be, will show the real numerical proof of that. We are safest, big city in America. Crime continues to go down, we've
healed a lot of the social fabric and a lot of the tensions that existed just a few years ago, particular between police and community. There are many, many big changes have happened, and I think the point is I've been able to do all that and continue to do all that, while running this campaign and raising important issues of the kinds of changes we need capacity, I'm not. I don't want people to miss the fact that if you are really able to run something, you choose really good people to do the job you put strong policies in place and all the I just mentioned continue to grow even over the months as I've been in this campaign now things that you mentioned that a real problems, what unites most of the things you talked about is decades and decades at those problems had built
and have bedeviled New York and other cities. Public housing and homelessness are bedeviling american cities everywhere in this country. That does not that's not a cop out, it's just not as truth, and why? Because the federal government stepped away from his commitment to public housing decades ago, starting with Reagan, stepped away from commitment to affordable housing that would have been part of how we would have stopped homelessness things, like section eight vouchers. This big went on for a long time. We at the local level have to pick it up and deal with it now. The truth is: we've actually started to drive down the number of folks and shelter and the number of people on the street Riel issues on the subway, but we're confronted them with a whole lot of people in a lot of energy to address that we're actually turning around public housing, even though it was left in a horrible situation for decades actually starting to turn around. We have real visible evidence of improving the quality of life for people in public housing, we're putting a huge huge investment into it. So I just want to be clear that every day I wake up and think about the things I gotta do to make the city better, but that, but that can't be
no a handy trick. Well, you have to be now spending time, you're thinking about New York, but the thing about Iowa your thing about South Carolina right. Is it just definition only true if you decide to run for president with the sitting mayor of New York, you are not do bring all of your attention to the city of New York. There is no question that if you're running a campaign, you have to put energy into it and attention into it. But I again I don't mean this to be pretentious, but it is true. Yes, you wake up every morning, in fact, start with whole slew of emails with a whole bunch of updates and give instructions from the very beginning, the till the very end of the day, because you actually run something big and complex that you do it doesn't matter where I am. I will be on the phone with people giving instructions all the time every day and also out there expressing what I think needs to change in this country and why I think I can do it. So the fact is, it takes a whole lot of energy. It takes a whole lot of focus on both, but by the way President United States
is are more challenging than what I just described in more challenging than what any of my colleagues have gone through. So we you better, have been able to play at a high level and dealt with a lot of challenges and prices and then find a way to move forward. Nonetheless, I get one people say we want see change on a host issues in our city, but for everything you just mentioned. There is a very specific plan being worked on right now, like we right this minute have a plan to entirely revamp public housing. We announced it last year, it's well underway. We have a plan to reduce homeless further, you go down the list and being don each and everyone of them. So I get, I might say, hey. We want to see the progress right this minute. I get that. What really matters in your leaders. Do you put the right plan in place? You put the right resources on. Do you put the right people on it? Can you show actual results on a regular basis? The answer is yes on those things so-
and you do have a record here right talk about Universal Pre K, green new deal, ending stopping for us raising the minimum wage. There is a record of progressive achievement in New York City that a lot of people say you know I'll. Just be honest. What lot say people say: buildable Ozzy doesn't get his due because people don't like him and we don't totally understand why? That's that's a common refrain. You see now. Seventy five percent of New Yorkers said you shouldn't run for president. Your approval rating right now is underwater in New York now with everybody in New York, but with a lot of people in New York. What is what is that disconnect? You think, between the record, that I think that you can be proud of and the sense that people in New York have that that they're they don't approve of the job that you're doing what what what is? What? Where are you from wait? What is the space between what you're describing is our accomplishments and and reaching people with that message? For John Look.
First of all, I appreciate what you just said, and that's that's literally why we come here right to make changes and again there is there's a ah contradiction. We have to get to the heart of here if he just want and I'm not saying about any individual, I'm saying about the political process, if they just want someone who gives a great speech or puts forward a great position paper and has not proven that they can make huge changes consistently. There are plenty of other folks to choose from right, but there's something strange about the fact: there's almost a preference against the folks who have done the work this job. The presidency has gotten more complex with every passing year. The challenges facing this world, starting with global warming, are going to require
tremendous executive capacity ability to move an agenda to move the whole government to get people to believe something could happen differently. I had to do that in come questionably, one of the toughest of arson country, the most diverse city on earth, a place with the toughest press corps anywhere and a huge press corps. But the in in question is what happens like what actually happened. Not what are the poll numbers showed a given moment or what people talk about the cocktail parties or what commentators talk about, but what actually happened? Were we able to get that agenda done? Thank you just delineated too many good people out there. Listening that massive changes that happen in York. In a way, that's happened almost nowhere else, so I argue to you. First, the things done part is what people yearn for they actually don't
want the noise and the punditry and the. What does the polls say today versus three weeks from now? They want to know, can you actually do something for them, and I I'll tell you in the early states particularly ill in New Hampshire, where you know, people like profession, interviewers like everyday citizens, are amazingly good at vetting candidates. They value proof, but then the other hi equation is your everything you said. I understand why you say it, but you open with something very important. First democratic mayor, RE elected in New York, since the nineteen eighties, the initial election I won was seventy three percent after four years of being, you know, asked all the tough questions and put through all the challenges I won reelection with sixty seven percent, which any elected official America would be very happy to have those numbers. So the polls, I don't get lost in the polls because I boy have I been down in polls before especially two thousand and thirteen election. Anyone with any common sense
look at where I was in the spring of two thousand and thirteen said this. Guy has no chance in hell I'll be in there in New York City until the message got through in the world changed, and so I just don't get lost in the noise I'm like when I talk to people in neighborhoods around the city, and I have sixty five town Hall meetings in New York City and I always say I represent eight dot: six million highly opinionated people. So if you spend hours out there like let it fly everybody, you got here a lot of stuff. In the end, I think new Yorkers very consistently understand what these changes are. Appreciate them doesn't mean they don't have a great that doesn't mean they don't want to see something different, but talk to people about like a clock to parents who got pretty k for free and how it changed. Our lives talk to folks got paid sick days. Who now could actually go to the doctor and not lose a day's pay talk to folks. Now, who are getting a primary care doctor for whatever they can afford? Who used to not have any option, because I didn't have health insurance, I mean you talk
The people were being left out or out. Take you know the take care of the kids the way they wanted to and given the start they wanted to and now they're getting it. It actually starts to do that. Much bigger thing that so should have on their mind, which is restoring faith. The government can be a force for good because a guy say up the row. Wings done a hell of a good job, trying to undermine faith. That government could be positive and productive and effective and connected to people. But if you talk to someone who their life change because their child got something, they never would have gotten. Otherwise that person starts to believe that we can actually move forward and that's why I'm proud of so. Let's talk about government as a force for good and how you kind of balance the practical concerns of governing, with the desired up to show people a different, a different, a different way of running a city of running a country ones like with the Eric Garner case. The officer involved was fired this month. You know,
but I want to put aside the debate about whether the city had to wait on the Justice Department moving ahead. I know that that's what you say is the case. How do you navigate the politics of law enforcement when there's so much distrust on all sides? And what do you use as your guide in these kinds of situations? There have issues where you've weighed in and stepped into, the fray there's issues where you've, where you've waited and held back. This was one of those five years later, and it does seem at this moment that, with the firing of that officer, there is now acrimony and dissatisfaction on both sides, which was may be inevitable, but is there is er a lesson you learned here about what the mayor's role is in these kinds of public crises, so I'm gonna start with. Is the agenda actually working, which is where I start everything? So you know it's interesting. The public debate, the discourse to some
ten is inherently disconnected from everyday people on the ground. When I ran, I said we had to get rid of stop and frisk, which was a horrible unconstitutional approach that was being used. There was a massive disconnect between the Nypd and families all over music color in this city, and I want to get real this role here. John, I talk to parents, I thought the grandparents and they would just tell me how angry they were, that they did everything in everything. They knew how to do to bring up children to give them self confidence to love them to give them self esteem and then for doing absolutely nothing. There. Young men of color were being stopped by police, regularly regularly kids, who are doing everything right, and it was ultimately horrible blow to allow these kids and their sense of security and self esteem and hope. And I said from the beginning: we were not change that and the a lot of the kind of commentary
mass and a lot of the old Guard said if you change a policy like that, it would be a return to the bad old days. There would be chaos, there would be more crime et we managed to show. This is crucial for the whole national discussion. Six years, crime has gone down in New York City because we got rid of those very invasive aggressive, unnecessary strategies. Last year in New York City, one hundred and fifty thousand fewer arrests than five years earlier and we got safer. We is not only about the right way to police, but I'm sure we all care about mass incarceration to you want to end mass incarceration. Stop arresting people, don't need to be arrested to begin with. Now I'm not talking thing and I'm not talking like we did this in some small university town. We did this in the biggest city in the country and proved that you could do something very, very different. So when I look at that, it's a great quest,
you're asking like how do you move the levers? And when do you weigh in intensely? And when do you hang back my mission for the game based on hearing people hearing there anguish over what had been and their hope for a very different society was that we could actually construct a world with with a vision of neighborhood policing, which is all about building personal relations to him officers and community members and keeping police officers in the same community and just disrupting the entire model before which was like outsiders come into your community to protect you and then move on and don't have a connection and don't feel their part of the community and the committee doesn't feel part of them. We rework that entire approach, we're a trained, are entire police force in neighborhood, policing in d escalation of conflict, implicit bias, all of the things that have made it possible to not have another tragedy like what happened with Eric Garner. It's an entirely different police force today. So when you ask the question.
What was I thinking all along? I was thinking about how we get to that place where it would not be another tragedy, because the whole structure had changed. The whole idea had changed and where we could keep the city safe because look I say, as a progressive. And and what progressives have to be very humble about some of the times in the past, we had really good intentions and missed reality. My job was to keep people safe and to prove that was a progressive way to do it and it just way to do it and that safety in fairness to walk hand in hand for six years, we've done it. There are specific things, were you say, hey it's, it's so important to weigh in and speak up and make a change, and yes except the opposition, I'm never surprised by opposition and there's other times when you say we have a reality here that we have to honor and that's what I felt with the Justice Department and that's what I felt about the trial that just happened in Y p D, where, if I
I'd spoken up the wrong way at the wrong time, you actually would have undermined that trial and that result and made it potentially something that could be challenged overturned in court. But hey some here's, here's the kicker is being missed entirely. The justice Department under two administration literally didn't act. They wait till the very last day. Then they said they were not gonna act. They did nothing. The d a in the case found there was no reason for even a trial, which was impossible for people understand how there wasn't at least to be an airing of the fact. When was the only time that there was actually a public trial and unerring was when the N Y p D did its own internal trial and then on Nypd Judge said guilty, followed by the first half of commissioner, followed by the commissioner. That was not something you would have eve of happening not so long ago in New York, city or a lot of other american cities, and it took a lot of painstaking change to get to the point where there's a chest process, and- and now I think people can see it
got, we would you know our job is to make sure is never never ever another tried yeah, I mean I, I literally believe it's possible that we would never have another tragedy because of the kinds of changes were making, but if there ever wore one for the first time people been shown, they can have faith that even the internal process, and my pt is just that that changes society when people can feel that you know it's, not a police department that other than us or different or separated. It's actually part of us. Now, that's what I sought to do. I want to move into what you would do as president I think it's held under and what you've been doing as mayor can I I get Amazon and I want to ask and as a result as a layman, he just was observing it from the outside and I and I I'm curious. If you think that what I'm describing is right seem to me that there was a deal to get Amazon to come to New York. It was a deal that would
and good for the New York economy. There were some downsides, there were activist, raising very legitimate concerns and that nobody really knew that Amazon was at risk of leaving, and so everyone just sort of said, take your shots. Make your points. Let's see. If we can get some changes, we I'm back you don't as mayor. You don't want to get in that Frey, you want, you want to kind of have you'll go through while not pissing off the active. And then all of a sudden Amazon says we're out, and then you and the governor realized. This was more dire than we than we realize you publish an op, Ed, criticizing Amazon re framing the debate, but really what happened was nobody understood the deal that was really important to the growth of the New York economy? Was this much at risk, and if it was you, I've done more you might have stepped in earlier might have said. Something is that right, I think you're very much in the ballpark look. I think the.
I I like to always say when I think I missed something and what I missed was the very beginning, meaning we accepted the terms of this national competition, and I that was a mistake because now, having lived through it and seen the injustice of it, I mean you know every every city in America, every state will tell you how unjust it is that there's this constant race to the bottom fight with each other for job. It's a tax breaks, not appropriate. It is wrong, so I had no illusion about that, but I I think this is something I look back on with frustration. You know I thought this was a company that, if they made a commitment, would keep their commitment. I thought the very fact that it was such a big competition would give them even more reason to keep their commitment right, and so I felt from the New York had an extraordinarily strong hand to play and like okay will compete with other folks and we think will win and we think
in the end, they'll keep the commit, where not even a thought, to the core of your question. No one for Asec, I thought: hey, wait a minute. These guys make a big public announcement sitting next to us and then pull out x number of weeks later right. That was inconceivable. What I should have seen it is, you know we in New York had something very, very particular to offer and we could have had just a really clear message them if you want negotiate with us, come negotiate with us, but we're not going to sort of be part of this bigger circles. That's zero dot one. But then to your other points I would say you know I spent a lot of time making the case I respected the activist some of the more people I feel very close to. I really thought they were missing. The core point, which was it was the ultimate package, was over twenty billion dollars in public revenue for city and stay which for everything we as progressives. Why do you know public education, mass transit, affordable housing, like you need money, for that was a huge
out of money to help us move a progressive agenda and it was a ridiculous number of jobs. I mean that would been the single biggest economic development deal ever is twenty five one thousand jobs minimum as high as forty thousand so didn't. Surprise me never surprise me in New York with the folks area. Don't want change, okay, that's legitimate! They want to. They have concerns. I want to argue for what they need to mitigate the impact. That's fair came this bigger thing where no matter how many times- and I said it a bunch of times- I guys with this- is a huge amount of money for stuff. We need and jobs and job for working people and jobs for folks live in public housing. Biggest public house in development in North America was down the street. From this we were going to bond that development to Amazon and create a stream of jobs directly folks, young people coming out of our city university system. Really would have benefited from those jobs, so I thought
they constantly reiterating the value and the public polling showed by the clear majority of New Yorkers, particularly working class, New Yorkers and people of color wanted it. So I thought this is the part of your analysis. I think a spot on there would be boys there would be drama welcome to New York City. You know it would keep going, but in the end you know when you have me in the governor agree, which is not always an everyday occurrence, and the entire framework was all set up. An f want to explain that to Amazon and they made a public announcement like not believe my ears. When I got the call saying they're pulling out no discussion, no negotiation just pulling out. And so now I wish we had engineered the entire discussion differently from the beginning. And I think there were some things I mean I obviously wish I had been even more explicit about the benefits, but I don't think the folks who were against it some of it's very, very local. I don't think if I you try to explain,
times over. It will necessarily change that and some it was very ideological folks who don't like amazons, a company which I understand and folks who don't want to see the government funded by private sector investment and needing that tax revenue, which I totally emotionally get. But I'm like folks this is we to be real as progressive want change the world until a very different federal government. If you don't have revenue coming out of these kind of economic development actions, how the hell are we going to create economic, just how the hell are we going to reach the people who want to reach it? And let's be blunt, why would the working class people and people of color over when we want Amazon, because I understood it could improve their lives? A lot of folks who opposed it didn't have to deal with same low same struggles, and it was a more abstract discussion for them but I live in a real world. I mean the people elected me, cooking Class in New York City elected me, and they expected me to do things that would actually reach them. Not just you know
pictures like things that would actually reach them, and I think it was a huge lost opportunity, no Amazon stop and that's all. It was highly responsible and by the way, if you talk about why people are pissed off at corporate America, here's your poster child that walking away was entirely unfair to the city. You wish that there had been a different process from the start, one that wasn't part of this trend of corporations of cities against each other, getting incredible dispensations for the privilege of having them come to the city, but that aside, you still wanted the deal that was made to go through. Do you wish you had been as forceful as you are now and defending the deal? All I was no. I can get the many many broadcast the court. That's the criticism right that criticism, but again this perception reality game of everything in public life, but typically in my dear city, I can show you so many instances where I made the exact arguments that I just shared with you about why we need at this and
and look. I agree if you would call me up in the middle of and said: hey in two weeks are going to pull out, have gone on a barnstorming tour to be even more intense in overt about it. But I made the case constantly and the polling showed that p got it, and so I you know, maybe there is a conventionality problem of you know. We all think we're living in the world that we came from and the world is changing intensely the deal that was done announced had public support. Had a very narrow pocket of opposition in the scheme of things and by any normal measure like, and it was clear what the benefits were and yeah. If you don't like Amazon, you don't like Amazon, but that didn't stop the benefits from being real.
Even a lot of folks in labor, who didn't like Amazon agreed with something else I said publicly, which is of Amazon, was in the New York environment. They were gonna, have to deal with the New York reality, a pro labor city, a progressive city, a city with a government that demanded a lot accountability and um social responsibility. So yeah, you know this. One is just perverse to me honestly, like I, Don't think anyone could have it's it's like the election of Donald Trump and then some like literally no one had even the idea that they might walk away and now is New York City going out. You know fall into the Hudson River because I am as I walk away now. We have over four point: five million jobs right now in New York. We're we're very, very strong, economically we're gonna, be fine. In fact, the rest of the tech community is growing constantly, so we're gonna be fine, but it is an interesting lesson in how we disrupt this race to the bottom
So what I came out of this feeling was one. No more national competitions to there needs to be legislation, Washington to limit literally. Legal limit on how much a company can ask of a state or locality in terms of any subsidies, tax breaks, whatever we got, we have to set the rules know we know our history when there's progressive governance in this country and Franklin Delano, Roosevelt, the great exemplar of this change, the entire all the rules, the game about how the private sector to relate to unions and working people and what they could and could not do in the Glass Steagall ACT. We remember that. Actually, these rules. Are really movable, and so there should be a rule that bans this practice of sort of forcing communities to do untenable things, because you can't blame a community that wants the jobs you can't blame a community that wants to tax revenue is part of like actually running. Something gets back to the point from before if you're running something everyday I'm thinking about. How can I do more,
and where am I going to pay for this is like literally a constant conversation like one of things we're doing next, where what we did. Ok, we're gonna do the same for three year olds that we're going to be the place that, on the bigger scale in the history of this country, is going to provide every three year old, with early childhood education for free, it's going to revolutionize education in New York, it's going to change the whole discussion, this country, when we show how much can be done with early child education class uh out of money. So when we were thinking, Amazon were thinking things like that, every city and town in America is thinking of things like that. When they're trying to deal with a company, but the rules of the game must change. So let's talk about that being president about setting priorities. What what would be your number one priority? What would what could you do as president to help that there's a president right now, who is on your side, will be the see that we most helpful for you as mayor, set to help the people of New York the you're not currently getting? Okay out, you asked to do two different questions yeah, so let me just do the what would help right now,
national infrastructure plan that included public housing So right now we are just putting billions in my time as mayor, I put six billion. Dollars into public housing in a city that used to put nothing into two housing in terms of having a payout of our own budget? So um, I'm doing that because we have to help the four hundred thousand people live in public housing and the federal government's walked away. Um, I'm putting a huge amount of the biggest capital budget this city's ever had because we have to fix our roads and bridges yeah the things that used to be a federal priority. This is happening every city, every town, every state, and we can't keep up with it pots. America is brought to you by nets. Sweet. If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business. We say it all the time all the time, but what we say to each other. We say until we put on our advisors we get our ah abacus is out.
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I'm going to time only you can choose from best selling false sense. Like apple cider, eggcorn, spice, mumhan, pumpkin spice exclusively sold it grove mums. The word: go to grove DOT, CO, slash cricket to get this exclusive offer grove, DOT, CO, Flash cricket, one of the things that I actually I mean curious about. You know we see this trend, it's not a New York trend. It's a national trend that building infrastructure, roads, subway projects, tunnel projects, they're incredibly expensive, they're more expensive here than anywhere else in the world. Chris Christie cancels the Ark Tunnel, blame costs one of the great dereliction of duty, exact of any leader in a long time at the state level, and yet we have this problem of the rising costs of infrastructure. What have you learned in managing these projects too? Splane why it cost two times three times as much to build. Am I All of the tunnel and say the US, or a mile of bridge in the US versus you
where they have labor standards where they have environmental standards. Okay, first, I would say what we're also learning is the there are a lot of ways to start saving money and we've been doing that and having some success of that, and so I don't think it's sort of a fixed reality right bluntly. Some of those higher costs in this country have been just really really bad approaches. Public authorities that weren't particularly efficient were particularly accountable, and until recently that was certainly true. If the MTA in New York City, where the accountability literally no one, knew no one was sure until recently, who was actually in charge of the subways and buses in New York City, an one good thing: that's happened. The last few years is it's been made very clear. The state of New York has at risk Billy and then LO and behold once response he was finally assigned a bunch of stuff started to happen and that's good. But we have found that we've been changing a lot of the approach.
Saving all money, speeding up the process, I would say just three things: it, yes and I believe in labor, I believe in organized labor, but yeah there is cost when you, when you work labor, I think the environmental dynamics here. I can't compare him to Europe, but I can say they're very, very intensive and and time consuming and I think the the legal dynamics across the board. There are so many areas where week ago, faster and do things better if we could clean up some of the laws that stand in the way of it, they're not about safety and health that are just arcane. Some of that starting to happen in New York. That's a good thing, but I know I'm not hopeless about the ability to build big things and do it faster going forward. I think the problem is we're out of practice. I mean the Second Avenue Subway finally got
New York after decades decades decades right and it was like a pretty short. It's yeah doesn't have far it's a few stops s O. So you know we need to get into a place for our survival literally first and fore most surviving global warming and and having resiliency vision, a strategic vision from the federal government, it literally non existent. There's no policy, stop global warming, there's no resiliency policy, but there's also no national infrastructure policy. When you start to invest in a really huge level, which is what we need, I um you exercise the muscle and you have an imperative one of things. I learned with all the big things we've done. Is we put really rigorous timelines that we, for example, this is infrastructure, affordable housing? We put together the biggest affordable housing initiative in the history New York City. It was going to be two hundred thousand apartments. People said it was crazy. It was over ambitious. We got it moving so well that it was literally ahead of schedule
and on budget we added one hundred thousand more apartments. The we should actually drives action and effectiveness and efficiency. But one of as I found I'm proud of, is it we would purposely put ourselves on a limb. We would purposely put a target on back. We say: here's a big, bold goal, we're going to pre K for on two years. We were going to do two hundred thousand apartments in ten years and all of these things forced action and forced change, forced innovation. So what bluntly, a lot of politicians do is the opposite: they try and do really amorphous goals and try and avoid accountability and bureaucracies respond. Accordingly right, so, I think the exciting idea- and this is what this election should be all about- is like really bold ideas that force action on the level we haven't seen before. So, to your other point, Amy, look to me global, warm, existential crisis there we know from it playing the green new deal already in New York City, we live
barely passed law. The toughest standards for buildings anywhere on the earth on the earth. And there was a hue and cry for the real estate industry, but you know what we passed it. It's moving! It's going to force a whole host of changes in how people build buildings and run their buildings and save a huge amount of energy and stop a whole lot of emissions right, we're putting up a after vehicle charging stations all over New York City. We're not waiting for the federal government, we're not asking the private sector. Do it. We're gonna. Do it we're doing ourselves to help make it easier for people get electric cars all of our city. Government energy is going to be. All electricity will be renewable in the next five years. Right, we're doing things right now, and this is to me why job one of course address global warming, with the aggressiveness that the green new deal calls for, and then I think um to me, the second, the sort of core economic mission which typifies everything I've been trying to in New York. But this is what I wanna do for working people in the country just rewrite the rules of the game for working people. So it's fifteen dollars,
Its benefits like paid, sick leave and paid family leave. It's going to the heart of the matter on taxation, which is not you know. Literally, I have a plan. Islands, as I say to all your listeners, go to build dot com and look it up. It is the most progressive going in there's. One just market is the most aggressive, and so I want to talk about that because it is the most aggressive tax map of the candidates, but when I saw the plan, what struck me is that it looks like Elizabeth Warren's plan, but you just move the numbers down. You know. Elizabeth Warren rolls out a ah, ah well tax that you know kicks in at one percent, two percent three percent- and it's like your plan, is very similar. It just is a little more aggressive when those numbers kill well, I think the world of better and I'm very happy. She put forward a plan, but I would argue to you that the question is who's willing to go the farthest, but, but
I know about that, there is like the your your of your city is. It is one of the bars because a well taxes already a massive transformative, new policy and say: okay, there's a Elizabeth Warren proposes wealth tax. Well, I have well tax point one dot, five well tax. I get what you're, but I want to make the argument. Clearly my tax plans, let's just go to the sure, income tax element of seventy percent. Seventy percent level when you get above two million- and that includes very much envisioned as I think all Democrats do- repealing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy corporations and putting back deductibility for state and local taxes, which is something I think was fair and needs to be restored. Well, you have to be for that. No, I believe in that. I really believe in that I believe in it for the whole country, so the mmm that tax level was the tax level during the Eisenhower administration. So one no,
I believe I I actually marked my plan to what I thought historically worked and was proven, and what did you see in a huge amount of investment in the country, infrastructure, education, higher education, science, research? That was the heyday fifties and the sixties? You saw a much greater sharing of prosperity. You saw CEO pay, not as crazily out of whack. Also, I try to address in my plan so now I'm arguing that we actually know the kind of tax level that works and we should be willing to defend it to people in this country, and most Americans would like to see across the ideological spectrum would like to see much higher taxes on the wealthy on health care for Medicare. For all,
Ah, there are few plans. There's Bernie's plan. Ah common house put out a plan that involved kind of ah the ability to choose among several public private options. What what is your healthcare policy support? Medicare for all, but I don't I don't leave you put out. You have the final, the final plans coming out soon and and one of things I want to address, which needs to be bluntly discussed at this point. It's sort of the the sequencing of the phasing in of it because it not going happen overtime. Again, I run a huge operation and anyone who says we're going to care for overtime, single payer. You know in four years or something I don't buy- that in any way shape or form these are massive changes in engineering. I mean look what so. You don't think that the burning bernie- work, no, not not going for it. No, no. No, I think the world of Bernie, but I just that's not again. This is a different set of God bless legislators, but if you run, big things. You know the amount of time that things take it's going to take a longer period of time to be able to go through the phases. I mean look to fight over Obama.
Care reminds us of how contentious this stuff could be. Thank God, Obama CARE was past tense, made a huge difference, but I always say we should start the discussion from an aspirational place. I mean this really. This is being missed in the discussion. What is the state of Healthcare in America? And what should it be? So I represent point: six million people lot happen to have health insurance are unionized. I got six hundred thousand people who don't have any health insurance so much the people, I talked to have health insurance. Are they telling me how wonderful their lives are? No they're telling me all the things they can't get and all the frustrations they face. Mental health care which is finally being given the respect it deserves in our public debate, is very very hard to access with the vast majority of insurance plans. Dental care is like great American White Whale right like trying to get affordable. Dental care in America is like this mythology. Why?
Why is it not a matter of public policy toe crack that code right um, a huge number of people have health care plans that hit them like over a head with a two by four with the deductibles that really really stress people and cause people to not get health care they need because it can't handle the deductibles um. There's always the danger of a Syria disease that could bankrupt the family, but this is not yeah. This is not greatest nation on earth kind of stuff. This is not what we should be aspiring to so that question then I'm going to do this in my plan is say: okay, what is the end of the rainbow where you actually could have truly universal health care? It's a single payer system. It has been proven countries around the world, that's where we have to get to. Are we in there in four years? No, are we getting there in one jump, know we're going to have to go through a series of steps, I'm going to try and delineate that in the coming weeks, including respect- and this is something my brothers and sisters in labor of raised- and I hear it very loud and clear folks fought fought, fought for these better health care plans than they used to have.
They don't want to see him wiped away. I say one hundred percent, so let's, let's be clear, any single payer plan would have to show tangibly that it's better in practice, then the plans of labor unions have achieved when that day comes, is the time for a transition and then the good side and allow folks of labor understand this is if their members actually could get universal Healthcare through a public system. It would take that you out of the labor bargaining table and actually strengthen the handle labor in many ways, but want to be honest about the fact that this will take stages. But what I'm trying to be really blunt- and this is where I think the debate has to go- is short. A single payer system, a profit driven system involving private insurance companies will inherently short change people of healthcare and limit access to healthcare.
You have that, so this is where this debate has turned during this during the primary that's important about the transition about. Why about about the failings of the private private system? And- and you know I talk about this with with yours until around before she dropped out. A lot of Canada have talked about this transition, and- and it seems to me what you just did pride- is the privacy. I'm actually doesn't work really well we're gonna have a public system that does everything the private system, and I want that. I think that's a good thing, but it it aligns the actual problem, which is an it's a political problem. So I understand why this isn't getting. The attention is ours, which is at some point either your plan tell someone, they cannot have their private insurance anymore and they have to switch to a Medicare option which will ideally have better benefits right, but I it's it's still are rooted in making. That case
is to a person why they should want to switch as opposed to explaining why it is necessary to switch you just like the distinction there yeah. Let me try and answer to see if I'm hitting the point. So look. We are country with a strong individualist tradition and every progressive every Democrat should be very, we believe in freedom. We believe in giving people a lot of choice, but we of also have to be honest when we're looking in the face of failure on a massive scale, and this is health care in America today there are so many people were on a healthy and it's all about economics. It's just that's just the truth and it is particular hurting seniors, obviously lower income folks, but it's way into the working class and middle class as well, honestly speaking and the catastrophic dynamic
is absolutely positively unaccounted for. Ah, a lot of people who would approve their health care, but have no idea that if they were to have a massive emergency they only they would discover they have one hundred thousand bankrupt because of the bills bankrupt um. That is not consistent with the notion of ah government that protects people, and this is where I think we have to come to grips in this debate. Where are we trying to go? If I said to you on the top about public safety? We save lot of the time. John, you know my do. You is most of the time you'll be safe. Sometimes you might be really unsafe and I'll. Send you flowers, then, when that happens, but most of the time you're going to say you think it was laughable. You think was disgusting. So with safety we say our job is to protect everyone all the time I said to with the military. You know we're to protect our nation, eighty percent
of the time, but that other twenty percent you know will rebuild afterwards. You would say I was out of my mind, so why is it with health care? We septa notion, I'm talking ten 10s of millions of families, a shoes swap their country and not just poor people and bluntly. If we could go back and do the entire discussion over again. Ah, what Hilary tried to know Billy do in one thousand nine hundred and ninety three, what Obama did achieve, but obviously with huge costs in the political costs and otherwise um it got painted by our opponents as oh. This is just for poor people right. This has to be entirely different discussion. Yeah we care about folks who are lower income. What I'm talking about for working class people in middle class people who, right now their health care, is not working form and I start with mental health, and this is what my wife shoreline is focused her efforts on in New York City and really help me get educated.
This do you know example Iowa in the last election last year November that mental health ranked number one or number two, as the issues in the state of Iowa among voters, inconsistent polls by the Moines Register. Why? Because the republican governors in Iowa had cut back mental health service is so much so that rural communities literally have nowhere to turn. God forbid, someone had a mental health challenge or you know substance misuse prop. There was no to get help and in all other communities they were seen us those cutbacks and particularly in a smaller state and a state with a great sense of community. Everybody knew someone who couldn't get mental health care. This is what I would have told me why it became such a huge issue, because they felt that they felt things an unstable. It felt like there wasn't a place to turn, so this is the whole country when it comes to our health insurance. So there's one massive problem dealing with opioid
we're dealing with a mental health crisis. One in five Americans has a mental health town, and yet our health insurance system does not even begin to address those, and then you go on the physical health care, a whole host of things where you can't get the level of care you need and then that catastrophic danger looming for a vast swath of Americans. So we're now talking about a big american majority, and we need to talk about this from the perspective that big american majority, where are we trying to go? We should be trying to go to a healthcare system that keeps people healthy from jump from the moment. You have a problem, you know where to go. You do not have to worry about the cost in going there, you get help early. Not later you don't put off, don't ration, I mean these stories about seniors, choosing how much insulin to take you know, because I have to pay the rent. That's happened in America all the time. These are not just an again. I am deeply committed to helping low income folks, but the folks I'm describing right now. These seniors are folks who solved it came out of the working class and middle class and they're on fixed incomes, and I'm talking about millions of people. That's not
acceptable, so we should not be losing a fight about human decency. We should to be honest that it's not to be panacea. That happens overnight. That's going to take a lot of work, a lot transition and bluntly. We have the sinus some about government and that gets back to those Labor Union health plans. For example, I don't think it's unfair to show people that we've got something better as actually functioning before people give up. They have like that kind of phasing in and show me prove it to me, actually could be the thing that gives people the comfort to make the move and that'll take time, but I hope we come out of this election decided as a nation that this status quo was unacceptable. I want to talk about something which is that you're, a red Sox fan. Yes, I was abrupt segway when I was checking the clock: okay, uh. That speaks to a kind of stubbornness to me, which is that you are you, I'm going to call it you're the mayor of monarchs integrity,
the mayor of New York City. You are a fan of the Red Sox. What what the thank you for asking such an insightful questions down? It just seems like truly like, but is that what we're seeing is yet that a serious question which there does seem to be a kind of daring people to be mad at you, John Daring people, to choose me over a bunch of other candidates. They could have chosen- and I said from the beginning: hey I'm my family moved to Massachusetts. When I brought all this, I don't give you hold on. I want you, I want your vast. You are the mayor of New York City. To hear this. I grew up with the team love the team, I'm a really huge baseball fan and I said to the people New York City. This is just who I am take her to leave it, and then they took it. They can wait no hold on what is it's part of voting that you don't understand. They had a
to choose a whole bunch of the candidates were not red. Sox fan, I'm not saying it stop you from being the mayor, but you are a mayor, but in a big way, yeah thing I won the primary. Without a runoff, I got seventy three percent of general election. I won reelection with sixty seven percent could be more ok, okay, that would have been nice. This way, you don't know what you don't know what this guy's here's the thing. I actually heard this from people. I heard it from a lot of baseball fans who were like. I couldn't change my team, any you know anyway, I couldn't do it either uh. I would have done the same thing. You did if you're, actually a baseball fan- and I am but the second thing I heard from it was- was wow well you're not doing that for political advantage, so maybe there's some integrity there. I have one more. This is it's been on my mind. I've wanted to ask you about it. You guys seem to be: it seems like a very old fashioned feud in a way that I really like, as a gay jewish new worker, there's a pettiness that
admire about it, and I admire that, despite the fact that it might be in both of your interests as leaders to get over it. You seem like you can't, like you, truly have a wall between the two of you that seems rooted in genuine pain. What what is that pain while it? What it's it's a personal and it it's? You know they used to say, Obama and Mcconnell. They should just get a drink, but but there were structural reasons, as we have seen in recent years. That would prevent these two people from working together. Your two Democrats, who we see a lot of the same issues together an yet there's a lot of potshots lot of a tv going back and forth people in New York think it hurts the city, that's a serious question, but it, but it all does seem to be a quite personal thing. When is there any hope for a for a for comedy for for for a pretty common there's been plenty of now play economy right? If it wasn't so serious, is there hope for comedy, while John the rivalry is genuinely hilarious? That is for more comedy. I mean you,
don't miss a chance. Little jokes little digs real disagreements. What's what's going on? Well, I honestly believe you're painting a little bit more of a dire picture than real, be I'll. Tell you why. So you just talked about Amazon, and we talked during that time on the lead up to it that we had to coordinate in a huge way to get to that deal. We were actually in agreement on it and then we went and defend it together, and a big big deal, we just passed congestion pricing plan and I want to be honest. I was a congestion pricing. Router for a lot of reasons to his credit we work together. We actually addressed a lot of things that cause my doubt, which was about fairness, particularly the outer boroughs. In New York City, we got to a plan that I thought made a lot of sense and was going to fund the MTA properly. We promoted it together. That's what broke the back on this issue is when You know both of us came together and said. This is something we're both going to fight for and we did and we want so there's three time. We disagree
notion that you could both be Democrats and disagree with something is not a shocker and there's a philosophical differences. Look, I think, it's fair to say he comes out of a more pro business and more moderate world view. I come out of a more progressive world. You that's okay, but we still work together. Our teams work together, all the time and so yeah other human factors of courses, human factors, but here's a very, I think us our heart of the matter thing you look at the digs. Never then right and yeah, I see him. Sometimes you see do them sometime. I do them sometimes maybe, but I think the fact is that stuff pales in comparison to the work, and so they almost a perception versus reality. So you and Governor Cuomo work really well together. No, we work. Well, when we agree on a vision, because then we get it done, um and look congestion. Pricing was not an easy thing to get done, but we got it done and we both worked real hard at, but here's the thing I disagree with this. Like okay, we're human beings. We have just
agreements, sometimes it breaks out in the open. Where is the thing that is not getting done, that we could do together well, some times there are things we don't agree on, not about what, if we were the most incredibly polite people in the world, but we just still didn't agree on a policy vision changing the reality. One thing people would point to your right is that the Mt A has a unique role being ah funded by both the city and this state being kind of ah jury rigged process. That requires both your leadership and the governor's leadership and that maybe, if you guys saw a dime I'm or had a better texting, dynamic. Things might be working better, let's be, let's break it down a little further we had to and this this is how change happens. This is literally, I hope, someday they will study this. The MTA was created to leave no one accountable. This is a fact it was create,
did so that they could get fare increases through and things done with. Anyone knowing there's a city run it there's a state runner who runs it right. So I have town hall meetings at the beginning of my administration. I would ask people, you know, show of hands two hundred and three one hundred people who runs the MTA about one slash three would say the governor about one slash three would say the mayor and a third would say we don't know, and they were right and they're right about. No one knew because it was not that you know you could see the reality, but was not portrayed publicly in a real way. So I pushed very hard for the truth and it is the truth to come out. The state of New York runs the empty dominates, the empty, a chooses, the head of the empty chooses the budget for the M T A is just it's a fete accompli and I pushed this very very hard and I think this was actually historically necessary. So the last town hall meetings I have, I would still ask the question and ninety percent of hands go up and say state of New York. That change happen over the course of a couple of years. Now we actually have
accountability and I'm someone who, as I have accountability for the entire New York City school system, for example, one point: one million kids, Meryl accountability for education, obviously policing and sanitation, and you go down the list- hey. If you don't know who you are supposed to hold accountable. Good luck, getting any change, so the Good NEWS is There was a fight, there was tension, but not you know, there's this Austin your question respectfully. There's a someone notion that. Comedy is a goal unto itself regardless of outcome. I would argue, outcomes for people come first and you sure, as hell would like comedy, and you would like respect and you'd like people to have a good open diplomatic discourse whatever, but guess what there's going? Conflict sometimes over disagreements and if it ends up in a productive place for people, that's fine and for God sakes I'm New Yorker. I'm not scared of conflict now and I'm going to say again if folks believe
and if I knew it was coming, that we need progressive voices in this race, please go to build dot, dot com and help me out blah. Thank you so much. You John great conversation enjoyed it Posse of America is a product of crooked media show is produced by Michael Martinez. It's mixed and edited by Andrew Chadwick. Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer, thanks to Caroline resting Time, Exterminator Katie long for production support toward digital team, Elijah Cone, Norma Coniine in Milo Kim, who film and upload these bad boys every week.
Transcript generated on 2019-09-14.