Bill de Blasio – Campaigning on Progressive Change in the 2020 White House | The Daily Show


Welcome to The Daily Show. This is the place to be. Yeah.
It is, isn’t it? These people love New York City.
Do you love New York City? (cheering, applause) You have it. I’m so glad that
you’ve been able to stop by, uh, in New York City. I feel like
you’re on the campaign trail all the time now.
Is that like a shift for you, -in-in what you do?
You-You’re the mayor. -Yeah. You’re normally here
every single day, -just doing mayor-mayor things.
-Yeah. And then now
you’re out in the country, campaigning to be the president
of the United States. Has that changed your life? -I still do a lot
of mayor-mayor things. -Yeah? Yeah, yeah, I got…
Because it-it’s a job that’s literally 24-7.
You can never, ever -stop thinking about it.
-Right. It’s 8.6 million people. It’s
the biggest city in the country. -It’s the most diverse place
on Earth. -Right. I run the biggest police force
in the country, I run the biggest school system
in the country, so I got to focus on it.
But I also know a lot of what we have to make better
here in New York and all over the country
can only be fixed in Washington. -That’s the truth.
-Huh. That’s interesting. -(whooping, applause)
-That’s the truth. Let me ask you this.
Let me ask you this. A lot of people say
being a mayor is probably the hardest job
in American politics, because whatever you do
has an immediate repercussion, everything that goes wrong
is blamed at… You know, you’re blamed
directly, um, whereas, in-in Washington
and in politics it feels like there’s a lot more of a buffer
that goes on. Why would you subject yourself to both scrutinies
at the same time? Why would you want to be a mayor
and run for president at the same time? Are you just
a sucker for punishment? What is that? There’s a place in this world
for masochism. There really is.
Uh… No… No, look, I literally… -For six years I’ve been
running this place. -Right. And it…
I love New York so deeply and I think New York, actually,
right now, is a place -where people are getting along
pretty well. -Mm-hmm. Uh, we’re a place
for everyone. Right? Doesn’t matter who you are,
where you come from. (cheering, applause) And we’ve done things here
that I think would really benefit the country,
and part of what’s motivated me to run for president
is I was able to do things that changed people’s lives.
Pre-K for every child for free. -Let’s just think about that
for a moment. -(applause) -Everyone in America.
-Right. That… It doesn’t matter
if you’re red state, blue state. We were able to do that here
in my first two years as mayor. And-and I’ve talked
to families, Trevor, whose lives
are just totally changed. Their kids are getting
an opportunity that many of them
never dreamed of. And they certainly
couldn’t afford. And, let’s face it– in America, education has been divvied up
by economic reality. Not according
to what your skills are, -what your possibility is.
-(applause, whooping) And that’s not actually
consistent with our values. Imagine a country
where every child got to start
at the same starting line and could reach
their God-given potential. We’re doing that here,
and it gives me confidence we can do it
in the whole country. You-you have been aggressive
in rolling out many liberal policies–
or progressive ideas, rather– in-in New York City, you know.
So, as you said, pre-K. -Um, you also pushed
for a $15 minimum wage. -Yes. These are ideas that you believe
you can scale out -to the rest of
the United States. -Absolutely. Do you think
you can roll those out, considering how different
the budgets are, -the country versus the city?
-Yeah, because, look– uh, $15 minimum wage
is a great example. When it first was being floated
as an idea, I supported it early on, I believed in it,
but you had a huge amount of opposition, particularly in
the business community. But… By the way, not just
Republicans– even Democrats were saying, “Oh, wait,
this is going too far.” But think about what $15 means. If you’re making $15 in New York
and all over the country, it’s not enough to take care
of a family on, ultimately… Minimum wage is supposed
to represent an idea that you can live on it.
That’s a long time ago– that minimum wage
you can live on. You can’t live
on this minimum wage today. And so when I say $15 an hour, I-I know it could work because all those
doubting Thomases said, “Oh, the economy’s gonna be
ruined, we’re gonna lose jobs, business’ll suffer.”
You know what happened? We actually ended up
adding jobs. We have the strongest economy
we’ve ever had. Half a million new jobs
since I became mayor. -So…
-(cheering, applause) Well, let’s then talk
about some of the broader issues -that you would face
as a president. -Yeah. You know, in many ways,
I feel like a-a city -is a microcosm of America,
especially a big city. -Yeah. -Yes.
-New York is no different. You know, you-you have issues
surrounding education. You have issues in
and around il– inequality. Um, if-if we–
if you look at those, as much as New York has added
all of these new jobs, -as much as New York has become
a safer place to live, -Yes. you cannot deny that there is
a homelessness problem -in the city.
-Oh, yeah. Yes. You also cannot deny
that people are struggling -just to live in New York unless
they earn a lot of money. -Yes. People are getting pushed out
of the city, whether it’s foreign investors
who don’t live here or it’s just gentrification. How do you roll– How do you fix
these problems in New York in a way that then can be fixed
in the rest of America? So, look, it’s really important
to be honest about the things that work and the things we’re still
trying to figure out, right? You mention safety.
This city today is the safest big city
in America, and I’m very proud of that fact. And we’ve helped bring police
and community together in that process.
And we found out that the things that we were told about how you
stay safe, like stop-and-frisk, which President Trump loves to
talk about is a great solution, it turned out stop-and-frisk was separating communities
from police. -It was creating tension. It
was creating division. -Right. We got rid of it.
We got safer. Crime has gone down six years
in a row in New York City. -That is a really good thing.
-(cheering and applause) But you’re right. There are these problems
like homelessness, and we’re seeing it
all over this country. And-and, Trevor, it is
directly related to the fact that we’re seeing gentrification
in cities, that the price of housing
is going up. There’s now an affordable
housing crisis in this country. What I can at least tell you,
in New York, is we’ve created some solutions. We got a long way to go.
I’ll give you an example. Right now, in this city, when developers want to build
major new buildings and they have to come
to the city and get permission, -we require them to build
affordable housing -Mm-hmm. as part of that. We say,
“You have to build 20%, 25%, “30% of your apartments have
to be affordable -for working people.”
-Right. That is now law
in New York City. We could do that
in this whole country. -We could do that everywhere.
-(applause) So you could–
you could say that, you know, to-to developers before you give them permits,
et cetera. You-you obviously
are expressing an idea that you have
a certain amount of power -when you are in
a government position. -Yeah. With regards to the police, that’s one position where
you-you have direct power. -Mm-hmm.
-And you can’t deny, New York City has been divided -in and around the case
of Eric Garner. -Yes. You know, that-that was a case that really broke
people’s hearts, -because we saw the video.
-We saw. -We saw him die.
-We saw the video. Yes. -We saw him die. -We saw
the vi– We didn’t see him die. -We saw him got– get killed.
-Right. -(cheering and applause)
-And you saw him get killed by… a police officer, who,
combined with a group of people, really seemed to be overreacting
to somebody selling cigarettes. Now, since then, the federal
government took on the case. After five years,
nothing happened. -But people are looking at you
as the mayor and saying, -Yeah. “Why are you not calling
for this policeman to be fired?” -Because, even according
to the training, -Yeah. it does not seem
like he acted appropriately. So, Trevor,
I-I understand that 100%, and I try and be really honest
with people. It’s because of a legal reality,
and I want to explain it to you. But the most important thing
to say first is there has to be justice
in this case. The-the places we turn to
for justice for generations, the United States
Department of Justice, you know,
the district attorney’s, the places where you thought
there would be charges, there would be a trial,
everything would be aired, -that didn’t happen here.
-Right. In a way, honestly, I-I
can’t think of any other example as bad as this,
where there was no actual trial. The first trial
that ever happened in this case happened in the NYPD’s
own internal process. There was a full trial,
a public trial. A judge decided, an NYPD judge, said, “No, that was wrong, and this officer
must be terminated.” So, as painful as it has been
awful for the Garner family, unacceptable, remember
that where there finally was a justice system working, it was actually within
the police department. And that says that something
is changing unto itself. The law says I am not supposed
to interfere in that process, and I believe, by
not interfering in that process, we will get to an outcome. I know it will be this month. I believe it will be fair,
it will be impartial, and then it will stick. And this chapter, this
extraordinarily painful chapter will be over once and for all. That’s what I’m doing.
I’m following the law. But I’m also ensuring
that we have a police department that actually created
that fair and impartial process. Let’s talk
about the police department. -You know, there-there’s a…
-(laughter) No, there’s a…
There-There’s… You know, there’s often
a misconception, in my opinion, that-that police are not
human beings. I… They are. I-I also believe very much
in the eth… ethos that hurt people
hurt people. And a lot of police in
police departments are strained, uh, underpaid, overwhelmed,
forced to make money by ticketing people
or arresting groups. -And you see that strain start
to filter through. -Yes. Not just in New York.
All over the United States. But New York–
we’re reading numbers where eight policeman have
committed suicide in one year. -It’s horrible.
-Eight. Killing themselves. -It’s horrible. -It tells you
that something’s going wrong. It tells you
that these human beings -are dealing with a problem.
-Yes. Now if these human beings
are dealing with it, they’re also dealing
with other human beings who they then
transmit their problems to. What do you think can be done -about reforming America’s
police system? -Yeah. How do you get better people
to become police? How to you enable police to become better
at doing their jobs? First of all, I think there’s
a lot of very good people, many, many very good people
who choose to be police officers because they actually have
that impulse to protect others. Right. And what we found
in the city is, we had to help people
be the best they could be by giving them
a lot more training. For example,
that horrible reality around Eric Garner
was based on a philosophy that used to be
very, very aggressive. -Policing was supposed
to be aggressive. -Right. And interventionist. And what we taught, ever since
that horrible tragedy, literally, we retrained
36,000 officers. And we said,
“No. Deescalate. “Don’t let a small situation
get worse. “Deescalate, calm things down,
bring in other officers. -Let’s try and get
a different situation.” -Mm-hmm. Or if someone has, for example,
a mental health challenge, let’s wait till we can get
some mental health provider to come over and help. Also, implicit bias training. Every police force
in America– and this should be a federal
mandate with federal support– should have
de-escalation training and implicit bias training. We’re all humans.
We all have bias. We’re brought up with it. All of us have to weed it out, particularly those who
protect us and carry weapons. Those things…
Body cameras, also. Every police force in America
should have body cameras. These are the things that start to change the culture
profoundly. So I’m very hopeful that as we move out
of this bad past– and it’s just plain bad. It’s filled with division
and racism and pain. That we can actually bring out
the very best in those who serve us. And that means then,
they get connected -to the people they serve
in a different way. -Right. When we got rid
of stop-and-frisk, we replaced it
with neighborhood policing. And we said, “You actually go
to a neighborhood, “and you get to know people,
first-name basis, -build relationships.”
-Right. And what officers told me was people started
to confide in them, would share information
with them, would thank them. I mean, Trevor,
think about that. If you want to talk about stress
and the challenges of being a police officer,
which are intense, actually getting
overt appreciation, getting a warm embrace
from people– it really helps. And-and we’re finding
that’s happening more and more. But I got to tell you
one more thing. This… These suicides
are extraordinarily painful. And today, I sent a message out
to the members of the NYPD that was very personal, and I tried
to help them understand, from my own experience. So my dad was
in the U.S. Army. He volunteered
after Pearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific
in battle after battle, and ultimately,
the Battle of Okinawa, which was literally one of the
worst battles in human history. And it was toward the end
of the battle. A grenade goes off,
he loses half his leg. And he survives. And he comes back, and he’s dealing
with the physical challenges. And by the time I was born, I saw a guy
who was big and strong and dealing with the fact
he only had half a leg, but was starting
to feel the psychological, the emotional effects. As I was a young child, he fell into alcoholism,
depression. And when I was 18 years old,
he took his own life. And this is… If you met this guy,
my dad– he was strong, he was smart. He had lived through
that entire war. He volunteered, literally, at
the very beginning of the war, went to the final battle
of the war. He was not killed
in that battle, but that war
ultimately killed him. And I sent that message to the men and women
of the NYPD to say, no matter how much
you’re-you’re good people, you’re strong,
you’re trying to do a job, you’re trying
to protect other people, but you could still be dealing with a challenge,
just like my dad was. The difference is, my dad– when people tried
to offer him help, he didn’t know how
to accept it. He literally didn’t know how. He thought
it would suggest some weakness, or that he could handle it
himself. -Mm-hmm. -And you could tell
he couldn’t handle it. But he would kind of
push it away, push it away. My message to our officers– if-if you yourself
are having a challenge, or someone you care about
in your precinct, -there’s nothing wrong
with accepting help. -Right. And we’re gonna make sure
that help comes from fellow NYPD officers, people they can talk to,
their peers. Uh, we’re trying to do so much to make mental health
services available and destigmatize
the mental health challenge, which my wife Chirlane has
focused on these last six years. Take away this awful stigma
that afflicts us in America. Even though mental health
challenges affect one in five adult Americans, somehow we make it…
a character flaw in our minds, in our culture. It’s not.
It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s something that’s in us. So I hope that that message,
I hope all the other things we’re doing to try
and reach our officers, will help people to come forward
and get help for themselves and to save themselves
and to save their families, who will miss them. I hope so, too.
It’s a powerful message. The, um… the presidential race
has been an interesting one. -Um… -That was
an understatement, sir. (laughter) You’re very subtle this evening. I, uh, mm… I’m trying to be,
uh, suave. Um… You’re about to say we need
more candidates, though. -No, no, no, I…
-(laughs) I’ve just started acting
on CSI, so, uh… -That’s right, yeah.
-(laughter) -The, uh…
-(cheering, applause) The presidential race… has been an interesting one. You have two dozen candidates. You have many people
on that stage who get -barely three minutes to speak
on any given night. -Yeah. I truly am fascinated
by somebody like you, -who has been on that stage,
-Mm-hmm. who has polling numbers
as low as yours, -but-but policies– no.
-(laughter) -No, but really. But policies…
-He meant it in a good way. No, no, no. But policies
that are responded to as well as yours
when you’re on the stage, because when you do speak,
the people do respond to you. -Yeah.
-Right? Do you genuinely think
that you have an opportunity to win the race to become
the Democratic candidate, or are you there
to try and shape how the party has
a conversation going forward? Trevor, I never run for anything unless I believe
there’s a way to win. When I ran for mayor
of New York City, I assure you I was an underdog. I assure you a lot of people
said there’s no way in hell -I had a chance…
-Mm-hmm. and I saw things
turn around suddenly weeks before the election. We’ve seen that over and over. I-I mean, I’d like to tell you– I don’t know
if you heard about this– Donald Trump is
president of the United States. -(laughter)
-I mean… -Whaaat?
-no one… no… Do you know how few people
thought that was possible? I mean, it’s shocking
what’s happened in American politics today
is the only thing that we can predict
is the unpredictable. So as someone who’s been
an underdog time and time again, I don’t get overwhelmed
by being an underdog. I think people are listening and they’re looking
for something still. I think there’s still
just a huge percentage of the electorate that have not
made up their mind ultimately. I believe in my heart
the Democrats want to nominate -a progressive.
-Right. I believe they want to take on all the inequalities
in this country. -So, then, let me
ask you this about that. -Yeah. Just go straight to the core
of it– why do you think you’re different from
all 24 other people up there? -What makes you different?
-No, this is the question -you always have to answer…
-Other than being ten feet tall, -what makes you different?
-Yeah. First of all… now, the tall candidate
has won, I think, every one but three
of the presidential elections -in American history.
-Okay, okay. -(laughter) -(applause)
-Okay? So you know what you should do, you know what
you should do, then? At one of the debates, when they
say, “Your opening remarks,” -just bring a hoop out and dunk.
-Yes. -(laughter) -And just be like…
-I just, and just that’s it. -“That’s my remark.”
-“No further statement.” “No further statement.
That’s it.” -So the tall candidate
almost always wins, -Okay. Okay. and I’m taller
than Donald Trump. (laughter, cheering, applause) -Okay. Okay.
-Do the math. -This is interesting.
-Do the math. -Okay.
-Okay? But, no, I came
to this simple conclusion. Uh, I’ve run the biggest city
in this country and been able to make
real changes. Literally put money back
in the hands of working people. That’s what Pre-K for All
for free did. That’s what
the $15 minimum wage did. The Affordable Housing Programs. Giving people basic… We’re doing two things
right now. We’re giving.. For everyone who doesn’t
have health insurance– which is hundreds of thousands
of New Yorkers– we’re just guaranteeing them
health care at this point. We’re saying: We’re gonna
give you a health care card. Come to one of our
public hospitals and clinics. We’re gonna give you
a primary care doctor, so you can get health care
when you need it. -(whooping, applause)
-And pay whatever you can pay. So… And-and one other I have to say,
’cause I think people need to hear about it: we’re
the only country in the world– only industrialized, I should
say, country in the world– that does not guarantee
hardworking people– people who work
every week of the year have no guarantee
of any vacation, any time off by law. In New York City
we’re gonna pass a bill guaranteeing
two weeks’ paid vacation -for every working person.
-(cheering, applause) -Wow. And the whole country
needs that. So the things
we’re talking about, I-I– It’s as simple as this– I respect these other candidates
very much. Some I feel very close to
personally, politically. But I’ve actually done
these things. I’ve had to run the biggest city
in the country. I’ve had to produce these
changes for working people. I’ve had to take on
very powerful interests. I’ve taken on the
real estate community here. I’ve taken on the landlords
in New York City. I’ve taken on all those folks
who said, “Oh, no, we had to keep
“stop and frisk” or we’d, you know,
have crime and chaos, and I stared ’em down, I said,
“No, we’re getting rid of it.” And I would prove to them
we would get safer and we did. So I’ve actually had to lead
in a very tough dynamic, and make real progressive change
for real people. I think that’s what folks
are ultimately looking for. They appreciate folks
who can give a good speech or have a good policy paper,
but, ultimately, this is about people’s lives,
their families. And I’m able to say, “Hey,
for six years, I did it in, what’s arguably the toughest
place to do it.” This is considered often the second-toughest job
in America. If you can do it, if you can get
big things done for people, well, of course that’s the kind
of qualification necessary to be president of this country. And I believe people
are looking, they’re searching
for the candidate that they think will give them
real change in their lives, and, of course,
what Democrats want, what unifies us all,
who can take on Donald Trump? Look, I’ve watched this guy
for decades. There is no trick he has
I haven’t seen. He is the ultimate con man,
he’s literally, he’s just a classic bait
and switch con man. To deal with him,
you have to be aggressive, you have to be assertive. So I say to people
wherever I go, I say, “I apologize as a New Yorker “that you ever had to meet
Donald Trump.” I want to just get that
formal apology, and I say, “This New Yorker is ready
to get rid of him for you.” -So…
-(cheers and applause) -So that’s your pitch.
-That’s my pitch. I’m ready. Thank you so much
for coming to the show. -Thank you, Trevor.
-Appreciate having you here. Mayor Bill de Blasio,
everybody.

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