With just six more days of campaigning ahead of this state’s primary, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has launched his first ad — a radio spot designed to help conservatives view him as an antidote to Mayor Bill De Blasio. The first Democratic mayor of New York City in 20 years is the second voice voters hear in the spot.
“I think Ted Cruz is out of touch with New York State and New York City,” de Blasio says, in a clip from one of his reactions to Cruz’s jibes about “New York values.”
A narrator takes over, saying that “De Blasio’s socialist policies are tearing this city apart.”
“Murders up nearly 10 percent,” says the narrator. “He treats cops like criminals, and criminals like freedom fighters. De Blasio made New York a sanctuary city, rolling out the red carpet for illegals. And de Blasio ended stop-and-frisk even where terror suspects are known to congregate.”
The nightmare version of the de Blasio years syncs up, somewhat, with the mayor’s portrayal in conservative tabloids — i.e., slightly overstated. The idea that the stop-and-frisk program, which de Blasio campaigned against and ended, was a tool in fighting terrorism was debunked at the time. New York had followed some sanctuary policies since 1988, though de Blasio and the majority-Democratic city council did push through a greater sanctuary status. Murder did increase in 2015, the second year of de Blasio’s term. Yet in the first year, it plunged to levels not seen since John F. Kennedy was in the White House, and de Blasio’s overall approval rating has been ticking up.
But conservative voters, who have never liked de Blasio, are likely to agree with the Cruz critique. In the ad’s kicker, the narrator promises that a President Cruz would “instruct the Justice Department to hold corrupt politicians accountable” — and that de Blasio would be “done.” That’s a not-so-subtle nod at an investigation into the funding of de Blasio’s 2013 campaign. The mayor said this week that he has not been interviewed by any investigators.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · David Weigel