President Donald Trump on Friday taunted Bill de Blasio within minutes of the New York mayor’s withdrawal from the 2020 White House race, tweeting sarcastically that the low-polling candidate’s announcement was a major news event.
“Oh no, really big political news, perhaps the biggest story in years!” Trump wrote online. “Part time Mayor of New York City, @BilldeBlasio, who was polling at a solid ZERO but had tremendous room for growth, has shocking dropped out of the Presidential race. NYC is devastated, he’s coming home!”
The gibe from the president came just after de Blasio’s appearance on the set of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he made public his plans to exit the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election, and it’s clearly not my time,” he said, citing his inability to qualify for the party’s primary debates as the “central reason” behind his decision.
Despite the bloated nature of the 2020 Democratic field, Trump and his family have shown a special fondness in recent months for taking aim at de Blasio, the top public official in the president’s hometown.
Hours after de Blasio first declared his presidential candidacy in May, Trump tweeted an insult at his fellow New Yorker.
“The Dems are getting another beauty to join their group,” Trump wrote. “Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst mayor in the U.S., will supposedly be making an announcement for president today. He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man. NYC HATES HIM!”
But de Blasio, who called the president a “bully” in his campaign announcement video, had seemingly relished the attention from his would-be general election opponent, previously bragging that he irritates Trump in a way that sets him apart from the rest of the Democratic field.
“I know something about Donald Trump that’s different from the other candidates because I watched him for decades,” de Blasio told CNN in May, adding: “I understand his game plan. I understand his tricks and his strategies, and I do get under his skin.”
The relationship between the two New Yorkers has not always been so acrimonious. As a private citizen, Trump predicted ahead of de Blasio’s election to City Hall in 2013 that “he’ll end up being a good mayor.”
But de Blasio’s stewardship of New York has since become a subject of consistent ridicule from the president’s allies and conservative media commentators.
By QUINT FORGEY
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