NYC Mayor de Blasio ‘happy to hand off’ to Eric Adams - New York Daily News
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NYC Mayor de Blasio ‘happy to hand off’ to Eric Adams despite recent tensions

Mayor de Blasio is tying himself up in knots to avoid a public beef with his likely successor.

De Blasio shied away Thursday from pushing back against a recent stream of criticism from Eric Adams, insisting that the Democratic mayoral candidate is merely practicing run-of-the-mill politics by taking thinly veiled jabs at his administration.

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The lame-duck mayor took the deferential stance after being asked by the Daily News if he agrees with Adams’ claim that the city has been “out of control” and “dysfunctional” for “so many years” on issues ranging from crime to relations with the business community.

“I haven’t seen every quote, but I can tell you we’ve talked plenty of times about the fact there’s a lot of things we want to see government do better. He and I share that view,” de Blasio said in his daily briefing. “So I think there’s a lot of common ground. There’s problems and, like any candidate, he’s talking about problems that have to be addressed. But I have a lot of confidence in his vision.”

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (right)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (right) (Gardiner Anderson/for New York Daily News)

Earlier in the briefing, Adams made a surprise appearance via Zoom to offer support for a proposal from de Blasio to invest more money in building offshore wind power turbines in New York.

“Building the offshore wind industry from scratch has the potential to make our city more sustainable and more equitable,” said Adams, who is heavily favored to win the Nov. 2 general election against GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa. “Energy is going to put wind in the sails of our economy, and in the future of everyday New Yorkers ... This is so important for the future of our city.”

“Over the many years we’ve known each other, what I love is you always see the future and possibilities,” de Blasio replied to the Brooklyn borough president. “So I am happy to hand off this ball to you and look forward to watching New York City blossom.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) shakes hands with Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams (right)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) shakes hands with Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams (right) (Luiz C. Ribeiro/for New York Daily News)

But the chumminess at Thursday’s briefing stood in sharp contrast to some of Adams’ recent public remarks about the state of the city.

In a speech at a high-powered business conference in Manhattan earlier this month, Adams railed against the city’s “anti-business” climate — an apparent dig at de Blasio’s support for higher taxes on the wealthy and other progressive policies.

“New York will no longer be anti-business,” Adams declared at the SALT Conference on Sept. 13. “This is going to be a place where we welcome business and not turn into the dysfunctional city that we have been for so many years.”

The exterior of City Hall in Lower Manhattan, New York
The exterior of City Hall in Lower Manhattan, New York (ShutterStock)

In a Bloomberg Radio interview last Friday, Adams sought to distance himself from de Blasio on another pressing issue, saying that City Hall needs a “reset” in its relations with NYPD unions.

“I know all the heads of all the police unions. I have communicated with them, and I believe it’s time to hit reset and change the dialogue,” he said. “You know what’s happening right now? The bad guys are watching us squabble with each other. It’s time for the good people of the city to understand we need each other.”

Adams has also distanced himself a bit from de Blasio on how to solve the crisis unfolding on Rikers Island.

While saying he, in theory, supports de Blasio’s plan to permanently shutter Rikers, Adams has voiced skepticism about the mayor’s proposal to replace the infamous lockup with satellite jails in all five boroughs.

New York City Mayor de Blasio
New York City Mayor de Blasio (Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News)

De Blasio, though, sought to downplay any rift between him and Adams on the Rikers issue.

“The information I have is straight from the horse’s mouth and he’s told me he’s moving forward,” said de Blasio, who leaves office on Jan. 1 and is mulling a run for governor next year. “So, I think he has concerns about some of the specifics of community-based jails and that’s understandable ... but I’ve never heard him disagree with the notion of closing Rikers.”

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