New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio opened his press briefing on Tuesday by lambasting President Donald Trump, comparing him to former President Herbert Hoover and saying that Trump “seems to enjoy stabbing his hometown in the back.”
De Blasio was referencing an interview Trump did with the New York Post, in which the president expressed his distaste for using federal funds to bail out states governed by Democrats, including New York.
“The President of the United States — a former New Yorker who seems to enjoy stabbing his hometown in the back — talking about no bailout for New York,” de Blasio said, while brandishing a copy of the Post with the interview on the cover. “What kind of human being sees the suffering here and decides that people in New York City don’t deserve help?”
“What kind of person does that?” he went on. “I’ll tell you something, every day, President Trump resembles more and more Herbert Hoover ― the president who ignored the Great Depression. Who didn’t care to put America back on its feet. Who has been now remembered in history as someone who failed at the most basic responsibility, which is to protect the people he serves.”
In the Post interview, Trump said he thinks “Congress is inclined to do a lot of things but I don’t think they’re inclined to do bailouts.”
He added, “It’s not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help — they’re run by Democrats in every case. Florida is doing phenomenal, Texas is doing phenomenal, the Midwest is, you know, fantastic — very little debt.”
Trump did not appear to mention Maryland, where Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has also been asking Congress to send financial aid to states. As per NBC News, Maryland “is facing a nearly $3 billion budget shortfall this year.”
Trump also said he doesn’t think “Republicans want to be in a position where they bail out states that are, that have been mismanaged over a long period of time.”
An outraged de Blasio noted that Trump gave a $58 billion bailout to the airline industry, but won’t offer a bailout that will aid the essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.
“He’s not inclined to do bailouts now? That means he’s not inclined to help firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, police officers, doctors, nurses, health care workers,” said de Blasio, who added that Trump is “a pure hypocrite, given how much money he’s put in the hands of the corporations and the wealthy already.”
De Blasio went on to say that Trump is “putting partisanship ahead of the needs of the nation,” and suggested that even Hoover, whom many have compared to Trump, didn’t try to pit Americans against Americans in a time of crisis.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also went after Trump on Tuesday over the same interview, using his daily press briefing to stress that partisanship should not be prioritized right now.
“It’s the state and local governments that fund police, fire, education, teachers, healthcare workers – if you starve the states, how do you expect the states to be able to fund this whole reopening plan?” said Cuomo, who stressed that coronavirus is “not a blue state issue.”
“Every state has coronavirus cases,” he said. “It’s not just Democratic states that have an economic shortfall, Republican states have an economic shortfall. No blue state was asking for a bailout before this coronavirus. I wasn’t asking for anything from the federal government before the coronavirus. The federal government wasn’t giving New York anything for years.”
Trump criticized Democrats to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday and fired off a series of angry tweets throughout the day. He mentioned a bailout specifically in one tweet, doubling down on not bailing out what he characterizes as mismanaged states.
“Well run States should not be bailing out poorly run States, using CoronaVirus as the excuse! The elimination of Sanctuary Cities, Payroll Taxes, and perhaps Capital Gains Taxes, must be put on the table. Also lawsuit indemnification & business deductions for restaurants & ent,” he wrote.