Mayor Bill de Blasio Sundaysaid Hillary Clinton, his one-time boss, has to show her progressive chops before he puts his liberal stamp on her presidential campaign.
“We need to see the substance,” de Blasio, who was a top aide on Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign, said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
Clinton, the former secretary of state and New York senator, is expected to release a video Sundayannouncing her second White House run in 2016. But the question around her campaign is whether she will have a contested Democratic primary candidate challenging her from the left.
De Blasio, a nationally prominent progressive in office, meanwhile, has been going around the country promoting his efforts on addressing inequality and wages. On the show, he called for policies that include increases to wages and benefits and a “willingness to tax the wealthy” for education and infrastructure policies. “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked De Blasio if he is waiting to endorse Clinton to see if she “takes your advice on moving to a more progressive agenda.”
“I think like a lot of people in this country, I want to see a vision,” the mayor responded.
“It’s time to see a clear, bold vision for progressive economic,’ de Blasio added.
A few Democrats — former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and socialist indendent Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, among them — are hinting at running a presidential campaign against Clinton.
When Todd asked de Blasio if Clinton should get a tough primary, the mayor said the Democratic Party’s progressives are “creating some of the same positive pressure you see in the primary process.”
“I think she has to address the issues and that can be done with or without a primary,” he said.
De Blasio’s effort to get Clinton to prove her progressive bona fides drew sharp words from a top Democratic strategist and donor to the Ready for Hillary Super PAC.
“@BilldeBlasio’s self aggrandizing on #MeetthePress at @HillaryClintons expense won’t go un noticed. #Ridiculous,” wrote Hilary Rosen of the firm, SKDKnickerbocker, on Twitter.
“@HillaryClinton fought for the middleclass and poor families long before #BillDeblasio could even articulate any vision at all,” she wrote in another Twitter post.
Rosen later said on Twitter she meant no disrespect to the mayor, but thinks “he should have been more sensitive” on the day Clinton announced her campaign.
De Blasio did praise the progressive highlights of Clinton’s 20 years in public eye, citing her health care reform effort in the ’90s and work with children and families.
“Look, I think she has a very progressive history,” de Blasio said. “There’s a lot there that progressives will appreciate.”