New York mayor tells Dems Walker won in Wisconsin by peddling falsehoods

By Kay Nolan, April 26, 2015

MILWAUKEE — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday night Gov. Scott Walker has won elections in Wisconsin by “peddling a series of falsehoods,” but has to be taken seriously in his bid for the presidency because he presents himself in a likable way.

De Blasio spent a good portion of a nearly 40-minute speech at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Founders Day Gala talking about Walker.

“He told you teachers were the enemy. He told you that unions were the problem. He told you that up was down and down was up in so many ways, and in the process, he took Wisconsin backwards and that will be more and more visible to people,” de Blasio told party activists.

Afterward, de Blasio told reporters, he nonetheless takes Walker “very seriously” because he is able to “present himself as something other than he is.” He said Walker portrays himself as a friend of the middle class but then pursues policies that harms their interests, calling the governor’s cuts to education “the most striking of them all.”

Still, de Blasio added: “I never mistake the fact that a good politician’s a good politician. He’s a clever politician, he presents himself in a likable way, and he has to be taken seriously.”

De Blasio, who became New York’s first Democratic mayor since 1993 when he was elected in 2013, told Wisconsin Democrats they need to focus on income inequality in their campaigns to win back a majority in the U.S. Senate and to retain the White House. He drew the loudest applause when he called for raising the minimum wage.