GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis called Mayor Bill de Blasio’s trip to Germany to protest the G-20 summit “a slap in the face” and tweeted a photoshopped image of him with beer and bratwurst.
Malliotakis is one of several candidates challenging de Blasio in the upcoming mayoral race who criticized him for traveling abroad.
De Blasio flew Thursday night to Hamburg, Germany, which was embroiled in violent protests ahead of the G-20 summit, the meeting of the world’s top economic powers. Riot police deployed pepper spray, water cannons and batons to disperse anti-capitalist marchers who attacked the police with bottles and other projectiles.
The mayor plans to attend a separate, nonviolent protest, the Zeigt Haltung rally, whose motto is “Hamburg shows attitude,” according to a news account in German, which describes the gathering as a means to “stand up for human rights and humanity.”
Malliotakis, a New York State assemblywoman, said the trip is “a slap in the face of New Yorkers who deserve a mayor who works for them.”
"A member of the NYPD was murdered, a homeless crisis continues to worsen and our subway system seems to be on the verge of collapse and Mayor de Blasio has been crisscrossing the country pushing his national agenda, and now this,” she said in a statement.
Malliotakis later tweeted the photo of de Blasio, writing, “While #NYC's subways crumble, sex crimes increase double digits, litter on streets pile up & the number of street homeless soars... #G20.”
Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl called de Blasio "Big Bird" in a tweet criticizing his trip. "Why would Blaz attend a protest in Germany? Don't we have enough issues to deal with in NYC? Hey Big Bird, if you don't like the job; QUIT!" he wrote.
Sal Albanese, another challenger, also took a jab at the mayor, calling him "Bürgermeister Bill" in a tweet.
De Blasio has traveled outside New York City several times, including to Israel, Italy, England, Miami, Iowa, Paris and other locales. Critics say he should focus on managing New York, while he argues that global issues of inequality reverberate in municipal issues.
In a break with tradition surrounding mayoral trips in New York City, de Blasio’s staff announced the trip late Thursday just hours before departure, leaving no time for the City Hall press corps to travel with him.
De Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm Jr. but legally changed his name two decades ago.
It’s unclear whether de Blasio will be attending any meetings of the summit itself.
“A more detailed public schedule will be issued with this trip in progress,” his schedule said.
The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.