The city’s first couple got nice and cozy on “The View” Monday as they opened up on a variety of topics, including their childhoods, marriage and political agenda.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray chatted with Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg and the other hosts of the ABC daytime talk show in a 15-minute segment that was their first joint TV interview since taking office. Host Barbara Walters said she was amazed that the couple remains so close romantically and professionally after nearly 20 years of marriage, observing that they held hands during the 15-minute segment. “Look at this!” she said as held the first couple’s hands high to an applauding audience.
De Blasio had a surprise gift for Walters, who will retire next month. He gave her acity proclamation and declared May 16 to be Barbara Walters day in the city.
“I have to tell you for over 50 years you have been a living legend in this town,” he said.
Walters couldn’t contain her excitement.
“Mayor Bloomberg never did this for me!” she joked.
Here’s a rundown of the topics discussedL
Walters started off the interview on a personal note, talking to de Blasio about his hard upbringing. She asked how he was able to cope with an alcoholic father, who eventually committed suicide when he was in his 20s. The mayor credited his mother and the other women in his family for helping him get through the tough times.
“For me growing up, the people who kept the family going, were the ones who showed positive influence, it was the women in my family,” he said.
Sherri Shepherd turned her attention to McCray and asked how she coped with growing up in a Massachusetts town with a population that was mostly white. “It was tough it was challenging, but there were so many good people who helped us through it,” she said.
Love and Marriage:
De Blasio recalled the first time he met his wife: they both worked for Mayor David Dinkins and it was love at first sight,at least for one of them.
“I heard the angels sing, I heard the violins . . . she did not,” he joked.
Despite living in a diverse and open-minded city, the couple did get some unwanted attention from people after they married in 1994, McCray said, but those qualms dissipated over the years.
De Blasio said that his own mother initially had objections but “later she became Chirlane’s best friend.”
Goldberg brought up de Blasio’s “Tale of Two Cities” approachand asked if he thought that people who make more than $500,000 weren’t contributing anything to the city. The mayor went on the defensive and said those who do earn more need to help the less unfortunate.
“I thought those who are doing more can invest more for our kids. In a society where people are still doing well, we’re not doing enough,” he said.
The first couple said they have been such strong proponents for universal Pre-K because they saw how it positively affected their own childrenn.
“When do they learn the best? At the age of 3 or age of 4, they are like sponges,” the mayor said.