New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped up to defend fellow Democrat, and budding rival, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is under fire from Republicans for saying "extreme conservatives... have no place in the state."
After speaking before the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington today, de Blasio said answered a reporter's question about Cuomo's statement by saying, "Well, I agree with Gov. Cuomo's remarks."
He then went on to explain.
"We all understand that there's a right to free speech," de Blasio said. "I think he's saying that the attitudes of those who want to continue the status quo in this country on guns, or who want to challenge and deny a woman's right to choose, does not reflect the values of New Yorkers. So I think he was absolutely right to say what he said."
Asked if that didn't sound like de Blasio doesn't feel he needs to reach out to those who disagree with him, the mayor said he and Cuomo "represent our people."
"And Gov. Cuomo's right, and I believe I am on firm ground in saying our people - the people of New York state and the people of New York City - reject the extremist views against a woman's right to choose and in favor of the proliferation of guns in our society," de Blasio said. "And I stand by that 100 percent."
Here is what Cuomo said:
"The gridlock in Washington is less about Democrats and Republicans. It's more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans. ...
"You're seeing that play out in New York. There's SAFE-ACT. The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE-ACT. It was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the [New York] Senate. Their problem is not me and the Democrats, their problem is themselves.
"Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are 'right to life,' 'pro assault weapon' 'anti-gay?' Is that who they are?
"Because if that's who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York because that's not who New Yorkers are. If they're moderate Republicans, like in the Senate right now, who control the Senate -- moderate Republicans have a place in this state."
“We all understand that there’s a right to free speech,” de Blasio said. “But I think he’s saying that the attitudes of those who want to continue the status quo in this country on guns, or who want to challenge and deny a woman’s right to choose, does not reflect the values of New Yorkers.”