Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he believes Donald Trump has a “legitimate shot” at winning the White House, and “no one should underestimate” the GOP frontrunner’s prospects.
“We have to assume he could be the Republican nominee,” de Blasio said in Brooklyn. “We have to assume he has a legitimate shot at the presidency and take that deadly seriously.”
The Democratic mayor, who is backing Hillary Clinton for president, added that he’s surprised by the margins of the billionaire’s recent primary victories but not by why his populist message has resonated with voters.
De Blasio in early December said Trump’s downfall among Republicans would be his “denigrating” comments “towards Americans of different backgrounds.”
“I cannot tell you I would have predicted it,” de Blasio said Monday of Trump’s staying power.
The mayor added of the sentiment fueling Trump voters: “People feel cheated, they feel lied to, they feel the government hasn’t been on their side.”
But if they face each other in November, de Blasio predicted, Clinton will beat Trump.
A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.