Giuliani: de Blasio Turning New York City in Wrong Direction

Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 06:27 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been in office only since January, but he's already turning the city in "the wrong direction," former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Sunday.

Giuliani, the two-term Republican mayor dubbed "America's mayor" after 9/11 put him in the national spotlight, said in radio interview that Democrat de Blasio's policies emphasize dependency and big government, while having "less emphasis on very well-managed government," reports the New York Daily News.

De Blasio's predecessor, Republican Michael Bloomberg, had the city "on a very good course," Giuliani told WNYM radio host John Catsimatidis, a grocery store magnate who ran against de Blasio.

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De Blasio's approach "seems to be moving the city in the wrong direction," Giuliani said, pointing to "the desire to raise taxes — the city is the most heavily taxed city in the country.

Giuliani said de Blasio has chosen to embrace public schools over charter schools, when he should be expanding charters instead.

"I helped to start the (charter) movement and then Mike Bloomberg really expanded it," said Giuliani. "What I support are alternatives to a public education system in New York City that is failing our children."

But instead, de Blasio is "at war" with charter schools, a position Giuliani does not support.

The former mayor also said de Blasio's proposed ban on carriage horses is "foolishness," because the carriages are "one of the reasons" tourists come to visit.

"I passed the horses the other day," said Giuliani. "I stopped and waved to them and wished them luck."

Giuliani said he looked into the issues with the horses, finding they were well treated and "like to work."

De Blasio and Giuliani have had their issues for years, dating back to when de Blasio worked for Mayor David Dinkins, who lost his bid for re-election to Giuliani.

Giuliani agrees with de Blasio's selection of William Bratton for police commissioner. Bratton was Giuliani's first police commissioner, but was forced out of office after a dispute over who should take credit for the city's declining crime rate.

“We’re proud of the agenda we’ve set on public safety, education and income inequality," de Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell told the New York Post in response to Giuliani's remarks. "Those are priorities that will benefit everyone, Rudy Giuliani included.”

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