Tucker Carlson Rips Liberal Mayor a New One

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Here’s how it all went down…

Recently on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Tucker Carlson got into a heated debate with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about several issues, including immigration, automation, the state of New York City and his 2020 run.

Transcript as follows:

CARLSON: One of my producers told me just yesterday that he was in a crowded subway car and a man dropped his trousers and defecated in the middle of the car. And no one did anything about it. And that’s a metaphor for what’s happening. I go there regularly. And I have my whole life and every time I go under your mayorship, it is dirtier. There is filth on the sidewalks. Do you notice any of that?

DE BLASIO: Tucker, look, here is what’s going on in New York City today. We have challenges, no doubt. And I don’t accept a situation like that. I’m someone who believes the quality of life has to be addressed aggressively. I believe in quality of life policing, I always have.

That kind of situation is unacceptable. But the big picture is, we are the safest big city in America. It is proven statistically time and time again. We have 500,000 new jobs since I became mayor — the largest number of jobs in our history right now, the strongest economy we’ve ever had.

We’ve got problems, unquestionably. But there’s also a lot of areas where this city is doing very, very well. And the bottom line here —

CARLSON: OK, but —

DE BLASIO: — is that we are addressing —

CARLSON: — do you notice it — OK, but you — you endorse decriminalizing public urination.

DE BLASIO: No, no, that’s absolutely false.

CARLSON: Why would you want people to —

DE BLASIO: That’s absolutely false. The difference (ph) — we provide — there’s a summons

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: No, it’s not false. I was living there when you did it.

DE BLASIO: No, listen, any offense like that gets a summons. There is a penalty. There is definitely a sanction. We don’t believe in that.

CARLSON: No, you weakened the sanction against public urination.

DE BLASIO: We believe in this city.

CARLSON: And as a result, the city smells like urine.

DE BLASIO: No.

CARLSON: Do you notice that? You don’t notice that.

DE BLASIO: Tucker, it’s just not true. I go all over New York City all the time. I’m sorry. I’ve been here for decades and decades. This city is more orderly and cleaner and safer than it’s been for many, many years.

We’ve got more to do. And we’re going to keep making it better. But anyone who —

CARLSON: You’ve got 14,000 more homeless people on the street than the day you took office.

DE BLASIO: That’s not true, either.

CARLSON: But that’s not all your fault.

DE BLASIO: That’s just not true.

CARLSON: Well, that —

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: It’s not true. And the bottom line here is, what we have proven —

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: You want to hear the numbers? I’ve got them right here. It’s actually a little more than 14,000, it’s almost 15,000. It was 64,060 the day —

DE BLASIO: OK.

CARLSON: — your predecessor left, and now, it’s 78,676.

DE BLASIO: Tucker, Tucker, we — obviously, we can reason together.

There is a federal count every year of the number of homeless on the street. It’s give or take 4,000.

TUCKER: OK.

DE BLASIO: There’s a lot of people in the shelter system, that’s true. We’re driving down that number. We’re driving down the number on the street.

I am not happy even about 4,000 people on the street. But that’s just nowhere near what you just said.

But the difference that what you can see in New York and you can see it on safety. And you can see it on jobs, and you see on a higher graduation rate in our schools, is we continue to make progress in this city. We’re going to make a lot more but to the original point of this conversation —

CARLSON: Well, let me ask you a concrete question. Let me ask you a concrete question.

If I — if I live in New York and there is a homeless man outside of my building who defecates on the sidewalk — is defecating on the sidewalk grounds to be arrested in this city? Or taken off the sidewalk —

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: It certainly can be. It certainly can be and anyone who sees something like that —

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: But it’s not.

DE BLASIO: Now, hold on. That be —

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: No. Can you be arrested —

DE BLASIO: Anyone —

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: If you’re living on a sidewalk — can you be arrested for defecating and prevented from living on that sidewalk?

DE BLASIO: Tucker, anyone who is a threat to themselves or other, anyone who violates the law, anyone who is aggressive towards other people, there’s a whole host of standards by which someone could be arrested, and we do that. And we’ll continue to do that.

But again, the bottom line here is, we are talking about real issues here. But what we should be talking about all the time —

CARLSON: But these are real issues.

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: — what we should be talking about all the time is the future of the working people —

CARLSON: OK.

DE BLASIO: — the future of working people in this country, and where you and I started — I’m coming back.

If we don’t — and we’re two of the only people talking about it right now — if we don’t deal with the fact that tens of millions of American workers may not have a job and we may have a future without work and our social fabric could be destroyed — and that’s a threat to America’s security — if we don’t deal with this in this election, we are going to rue the day.

CARLSON: Amen.

DE BLASIO: We are going to rue the day.

CARLSON: I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more and —

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: And I’m proposing something that could actually do something about it.

CARLSON: And as a nonpolitical, essentially nonpartisan person, I’m — I am absolutely happy to compliment you with total sincerity on that.

I’m just saying the reality, the actual reality of life in the city that you manage matters. It’s the biggest city in our country. I’ve lived there on and off my whole life. That city is not getting better under your mayorship in ways that are measureable.

DE BLASIO: Tucker, I don’t know how you look at — so unless you don’t believe — unless you don’t believe in the NYPD’s statistics —

CARLSON: Well, I gave you a perfect example. Why is the number of rat complaints up dramatically? OK, that’s one statistic.

DE BLASIO: Hold on, Tucker, unless you don’t believe the NYPD, which consistently — we had — we yesterday had a press conference where we laid out the crimes statistics for this year and crime continues to go down year after year. It’s an extraordinary effort by the NYPD, using policies and strategies that I’ve instituted in my administration as part of what’s working.

CARLSON: Oh, OK.

DE BLASIO: How do you have 500,000 new jobs in six years? How do you have a record number of tourists if it’s this horrible hellscape you’re describing?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: You — you are arguing — hold on, you are arguing across what I’m saying. You’re ignoring what I’m saying.

DE BLASIO: No.

CARLSON: So, if the city is doing so well, then you have a net inflow of people into New York City. Oh, no, just the opposite. You lost 40,000 people in the last year. Net loss of 40,000 people.

DE BLASIO: We have 8.6 million residents — 8.6 million residents, the highest we’ve ever had in our history.

CARLSON: You lost net 40,000.

DE BLASIO: We have the highest population in our history.

CARLSON: Oh, sorry, is that stat not true?

DE BLASIO: No, we have the highest population in our history. That’s what matters.

People are investing in this city because it’s working. Tucker, I’m the first to say, because I do live here and I feel everything, I’ve been here for decades and decades, we’ve got some things to work on for sure. We’ve got some areas where we’re not where we need to be.

CARLSON: Well, then, let me ask you —

DE BLASIO: But when you go back to the central question, Tucker, do people create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in a place that’s not working? I don’t think so.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: What percent of New Yorkers would you say support your presidential campaign?

DE BLASIO: Say it again?

CARLSON: Look, most New Yorkers — most New Yorkers are liberal. So they agree with you on the macro issues. I think, if you were to say, what does Bill de Blasio believe, what does your average New Yorker believe, there is a lot of overlap.

DE BLASIO: Yes.

CARLSON: Maybe total overlap. But if you were to ask your average New Yorker, has Bill de Blasio done such a good job in New York City that he deserves to run the United States of America, what percentage do you think would say yes?

DE BLASIO: I don’t conjecture. I know that they actually got to vote twice, 73 percent in my first election.

CARLSON: I know the answer.

DE BLASIO: Sixty-seven percent in my second election.

CARLSON: And it’s a tiny — it’s a tiny number. And why do you think that is?

DE BLASIO: That’s not the question. The question is, when — especially in a race for president, what have you actually done that makes you able to be president of the United States? I’ve run the biggest most complex city in this country. Again, we’ve — the safest we’ve ever been, the strongest economy we’ve ever been in. We’re the most diverse place. And our social fabric is a lot stronger than it was six years ago.

There’s a lot I can show you that actually has to do with how you run something and move something forward, and where we started.

I’m talking about issues related to working people that bluntly neither Democrats or Republicans talk enough about. And my whole reason for running for mayor —

CARLSON: Well, I agree with you but —

DE BLASIO: — was to address issues of the working people and that’s what we’ve been able to do here in this city.

CARLSON: So, the biggest private-sector employers — who are the biggest private sector employers in New York City?

DE BLASIO: Chase Manhattan is one great example.

CARLSON: Yes, Chase is number one. JPMorgan Chase.

DE BLASIO: JPMorgan Chase, I’m using the old phrase.

CARLSON: Does the leaders — does the leaders — so they would, obviously — I mean, they are the biggest private sector employer in the city that you run, the biggest city in America. So, obviously, the head of that company, Jamie Dimon, must be a huge supporter of yours and a big donor to your presidential campaign because you’ve made the city so much better.

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: Tucker, it doesn’t — you know, this logic pattern just doesn’t hold. The question is this.

CARLSON: Well, has he?

DE BLASIO: You’ve got a bunch of people running for president. You’ve got a bunch of people running for president.

CARLSON: Oh, he doesn’t support you at all. Well, why is that I wonder?

DE BLASIO: Because we have different views and I respect him, but we have different views.

We — and, by the way, a CEO of a major financial institution is the last kind of person I think would support me because I believe we have to be tougher on Wall Street. I believe we have to stand up for working people. I believe we need to tax the wealthy a lot more than we are.

CARLSON: It’s the biggest employer in your city.

DE BLASIO: I’m a progressive who cares about working people. Why would you think the CEO of a bank —

CARLSON: Well, I care about working people, too.

DE BLASIO: — would support someone like me that is concerned about working people and middle-class people, not the one percent?

CARLSON: Because you are the mayor — hold on, let me — I’ll answer your question, because you’re the mayor of the city. And they have tens of thousands of employees living in your city. At some level, it’s not ideological. I don’t think that Jamie Dimon, the head of the company, is a conservative. He’s not.

It’s not about the ideology. It’s not about the banks. It’s about whether you’re making the city better.

DE BLASIO: I — look, I know him and I respect him. And I think he often speaks about important issues. But we have a very different world view. And it doesn’t surprise me that he would not support someone who wants to tax the wealthy a lot more —

CARLSON: OK.

DE BLASIO: — and wants to challenge Wall Street and believes that we’ve got to do a lot more for working people in the country.

CARLSON: Then name a big private sector employer in New York City that — who supports you?

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: That’s what I’m about.

CARLSON: Name one big private sector employer —

DE BLASIO: I can (ph). Here’s the question. Here’s the question.

CARLSON: Just one. Can you name one?

DE BLASIO: Tucker, I don’t play these games. I don’t play these games.

CARLSON: It’s not a game. It’s a question. Yes.

DE BLASIO: Here is the question, the Democratic Party for too long has been way too cozy with donors, with Wall Street, with folks who actually created a lot of our problems.

CARLSON: I agree with that.

DE BLASIO: When — the whole reason we’re having a good conversation on automation —

CARLSON: That is true.

DE BLASIO: — is I don’t care about what those donors think. I don’t care about what folks in Silicon Valley who are trying to justify that technology somehow are going to save us all. You know, they are — they’re resting their laurels on the universal basic income. And this is another fallacy, Tucker.

UBI, maybe it’s part of a solution in some way, shape, or form, but what I fear about that kind of idea is it’s a — it’s a crutch. It’s a way for a bunch of people to make a huge amount of money —

CARLSON: I agree.

DE BLASIO: — just to make their own consciences feel better. But what it’s going to lead to —

CARLSON: It’s true.

DE BLASIO: — is a future without work.

And the last thing we need —

CARLSON: Yes.

DE BLASIO: — I’m a progressive, I’m a Democrat, I believe in work. And I believe work gives people a lot of value, a lot of meaning. And we need to protect work in this country. And there’s a whole lot of wealthy people who are happy to run all the way to the bank and leave working people behind, and then they’ll say, OK, you stay at home, we’ll send you a check.

CARLSON: I agree with you.

DE BLASIO: That’s ridiculous.

CARLSON: And you’re right.

And, by the way, if you’ve ever known inherited money people, they are the unhappiest people in America. So, obviously, you don’t want to encourage indolence.

Quick final question.

DE BLASIO: Yes.

CARLSON: How can you take an SUV to the gym and back every day, and say that you’re really worried about climate change?

DE BLASIO: So, it’s Chrysler Pacifica.

CARLSON: I know it’s a petty question, but it’s bugged for years.

DE BLASIO: It’s a Pacifica.

CARLSON: Yes.

DE BLASIO: It’s a hybrid electric. It’s not an SUV, first of all. But it’s — look, I come from a neighborhood.

CARLSON: Well, it’s got a gas engine in it. Yes.

DE BLASIO: I come from a neighborhood. I go back to my neighborhood all the time. It’s the way to me that I stay connected to people, that I am able to have a routine that allows me to be 24/7 the best mayor I can be. It’s —

CARLSON: But should the climate have to pay the cost for that?

DE BLASIO: Oh, come on. It’s a few miles.

CARLSON: Oh, come on?

DE BLASIO: And, Tucker, here is the great part about all of this.

CARLSON: What do you mean, oh come on?

DE BLASIO: If I took a subway anywhere —

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I’m going to use it, the next time I get lectured about climate change, oh, come on.

DE BLASIO: No, no, no, the point is, wherever I go, if I take a subway, the cars follow me for security reasons. Anyway you slice it, I’m doing what’s going to help me be the best that I can be for the people of this city. And that’s why I’m proud to say, this is a city — the safest big city in America, a city that’s moving forward in so many ways. But if we don’t get these bigger issues right — and I’ve got to tell you —

CARLSON: Yes.

DE BLASIO: — you can be mayor, and you can feel like, wow, I’m mayor, I’m able to do things. But if Washington doesn’t address the kinds of things that cities and states can’t do, if Washington doesn’t address this automation issue, we’re all screwed. We’re all screwed.

CARLSON: Yes, I think that’s right.

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: And this better be a 2020 issue, and it’s not right now. It’s not a 2020 issue. And we need to make it a 2020 issue.

CARLSON: I didn’t even — well, I didn’t even ask you about whether you’re going to stay in the race.

We are going to take a quick break. Well, you stay there. I’m going to ask you, are you going to keep running for president?

DE BLASIO: I’m always happy to talk about it.

CARLSON: We’ll be right back. Thanks, Mr. Mayor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back.

We’re returning to our unexpected, but I think genuinely interesting, conversation with the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, who, if you watch this show, you know has been someone we’ve attacked a lot, but is gracious enough to come on and have a real conversation with us. And we’re grateful for that.

Mr. Mayor, thanks a lot for coming back.

I want to ask you about whether you’re going to stay in the presidential race. There was a “New York Times” piece that said you might not. But before I do, I want to ask about one of your policy positions on firearms. You have said that you’re for mandatory buybacks of semiautomatic rifles.

So, there are tens of millions of these rifles in circulation now. And presumably, some large number of people won’t feel like buying — selling them to the government.

What do you do with those people?

DE BLASIO: Well, that’s a good question, Tucker. Look, I think if you get to the point, which we have to in this country, where we ban assault weapons, we have seen the horrifying impact.

And, Tucker, let me make it very human for you, I run the biggest school system in America, 1.1 million kids. We’re doing active shooter drills regularly now. I hear from parents all the time, I go to town hall meetings, they are more worried now about their kids than I’ve ever seen, because they really think an active shooter situation could happen because it’s become a norm in this country. And, obviously, that almost always involves assault weapons.

We’ve got to end the availability of assault weapons in this country. So, I think if there was a ban on assault weapons and there was a buyback program, the vast majority of people I think would do the smart thing, and they would sell them back. I don’t have a specific answer for you. I think it’s a good question —

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: But millions — but hold on, millions wouldn’t. So, you know, you would have law-abiding people like me, and like a lot of people I know, who have hunting rifles that fall under assault weapon category and the cops would show up and say, give us your gun. And they would say no. And you would have, unfortunately, tragically, you would have cases of violence. Are you OK with that? That’s inevitable.

DE BLASIO: No, Tucker, I’m being honest — I’m being honest with you. I think anyone in public life should say, you know, when we — when we think we have an answer or whether there’s something we still have to work out, what I know is this — we cannot have assault weapons in our society. We’ve seen the devastating impact. They need to be banned.

And that means by definition, you don’t leave millions and millions of them out there. The buyback is the obvious approach. How we deal with someone who doesn’t want to participate in the buyback, that’s something we have to resolve going forward. But to me, the logic you start with —

CARLSON: Do you have a definition of assault weapon? I mean, because a lot of deer rifles would be — would qualify as an assault weapon. Would those be taken, too?

DE BLASIO: Look, I think — I think the fact is I’m someone who understands, under the Second Amendment, they are going to be plenty of appropriate weapons that people can use for self-defense, for hunting, if they’re sportsmen, if they’re marksmen, there’s all sorts of weapons that still would qualify for people to have.

But the military-grade assault weapons, those just don’t belong in the hands of everyday people.

CARLSON: Would you subject your bodyguards to the same limitations as other American citizens?

DE BLASIO: Again, Tucker, I respect you, but that’s a question that makes no sense whatsoever. You have sworn law enforcement officers —

CARLSON: Of course it does. If I can’t — if I can’t have — oh, of course, it does. I’ve got a family, just as you do. I have a lot of friends —

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: Sworn law enforcement officers —

CARLSON: — just as you do. Hold on. Slow down.

DE BLASIO: who are here to protect all of us.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: You get free bodyguards.

DE BLASIO: No, no, no, no.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I don’t. No, no, no. No, no.

You have bodyguards living at your house, don’t “no, no, no” me, Mr. Mayor.

DE BLASIO: By definition — by definition, if you’re a public servant —

CARLSON: You’ve got bodyguards living at your house. I know some of the bodyguards living at your house, OK? And they’ve got magazines that I can’t protect my family with.

DE BLASIO: Right. OK.

CARLSON: Does that bother you as a champion of a little guy?

DE BLASIO: Tucker — Tucker, someone who serves in public service for a limited period of time and in the society we’re living in — and I hate to say it, but public servants are vulnerable to violence in a different way. And our law enforcement officers —

CARLSON: A lot of us are vulnerable to violence.

DE BLASIO: Absolutely, but our law enforcement officers are there to protect all of us. And they need the weaponry they need.

CARLSON: Does it bother you that you get certain guns to protect yourself and your family but I can’t use those to protect my family?

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: I just think it’s a — I think it’s a question that doesn’t make any sense because I spent —

CARLSON: It makes sense to me.

DE BLASIO: — my whole life — listen.

CARLSON: It makes —

DE BLASIO: I spent my whole life until very recently, an average citizen with no different protection than you or any other American. For a very brief period of my life —

CARLSON: Well, how about when you leave office?

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: — I’m serving in a role, where they survive (ph).

CARLSON: Will you pledge not to allow your bodyguards to carry any weapon that you would —

DE BLASIO: I won’t even have bodyguards.

CARLSON: Well, of course, you will. Oh yes, you will.

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: I don’t plan on having — no, no, no, you don’t have to have bodyguards —

CARLSON: Oh, yes, you will.

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: I don’t.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Yes. Your bodyguards are outside our building right now. But you’re saying — but I just want you to say — when you leave office, you will not allow anybody in your orbit to carry a weapon that you would ban the rest of us would carry? DE BLASIO: Tucker, I don’t intend to have bodyguards.

But the point is, let’s go back to what we were talking about. There should not be assault weapons endangering children in America, period.

And whatever we have to do to get that done, we need to do it.

CARLSON: But law-abiding citizens like me are not endangering children, OK? So, if I can’t protect my family with a gun, I don’t think that you should be able to protect your family with the same gun.

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: Again, so — so, you don’t think that assault weapons used in these horrible massacres are a problem in this country? I think they are.

CARLSON: All right. Let me ask you —

DE BLASIO: I think we have seen children killed in their schools with these assault weapons and it has to end. It has to end.

CARLSON: Well, it’s horrifying, by lunatics. The guns didn’t do it. The people did. I couldn’t agree with you more.

DE BLASIO: And they should not be easily available to so many people and they are. They just are. And it has to end. It has to end.

CARLSON: But people in power shouldn’t have special exemptions like the ones you’re giving yourself.

DE BLASIO: I just don’t —

CARLSON: Well, let me ask you. Are you planning to stay in —

DE BLASIO: Our law enforcement — law enforcement needs the weaponry they need in general. But assault weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians.

CARLSON: OK. Are you planning to stay in the race? “The New York Times” reported that you are considering pulling out —

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: Yes. I said very clearly, my goal is to get into those next debates. And that’s a month away until that cutoff period. And I’m going to get ideas out there, like the discussion we’re having on automation. I’m going to put ideas out there that I think are going to be meaningful to people.

And if more and more people vote with their feet and provide donations and anyone who hears these ideas and like them, go to billdeblasio.com. Even a $1 donation helps me to get into the next debate. Presenting ideas like this that actually could change things for working people, I think the more I get out there with that, the more chances are that I can get into those October debates.

CARLSON: Do you think — there was a report the other day saying that you worked a total of seven hours in a month in the city of New York.

DE BLASIO: Ridiculous.

CARLSON: Do you think you’re short-changing? That’s not true?

DE BLASIO: No, it’s ridiculous. It’s not even true.

CARLSON: How can you — how can you run a study of eight million and run for president at the same time? Are you Superman?

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: Let me tell you something. So, the question is — you are raising a very, very important question.

CARLSON: Yes.

DE BLASIO: Who should be president of the United States? Someone who actually runs a big, complicated place and has been able to move it forward, or people who don’t run anything?

So, I am running. This is my sixth year. I’ve put together a strong team. We’ve been able to put together real, serious, foundational changes in this city, safest big city in America. Most jobs we’ve ever had, highest graduation rate we’ve ever had. I can show you a bunch of other examples.

I’m doing all that.

CARLSON: Most public urination we’ve ever had, for sure.

DE BLASIO: I am running — I am running for president of the United States, it’s true, and that takes some real time and energy. But I’m able to, as a CEO, keep making sure that my agencies are doing their jobs, the people I’ve put in charge are doing their jobs, what any CEO in the world does, public sector or private sector, and that’s actually what —

CARLSON: Right.

DE BLASIO: — qualifies you to be president of the United States. That you know how to run something as big and complex as this city, is a good warm-up for the much bigger job.

CARLSON: I’ll tell you what puts you in good graces with me anyway, having the stones to come on the show. Good for you. I respect that. I disagree with most of you’re saying but I do respect that.

(CROSSTALK)

DE BLASIO: You know what, Tucker? We should never be afraid — we should never be afraid to have a real dialogue and a real debate with each other, regardless of views. And I have also said I have real differences with some of what I think this network stands for. But I also respect the millions and millions of people who watch this network, are working Americans, middle-class Americans.

CARLSON: That’s true.

DE BLASIO: And I say as a progressive and a Democrat, I think we need to vie for every one of those votes. And we need to show people the respect of going on a network that they watch and offering ideas and say, we care about you. And we want your votes and we want to show you something we think will make your lives better.

On this automation issue is a good point. You’re talking about it. A lot of other people aren’t talking about it. So, even though you and I obviously disagree on a lot of stuff, I give you credit.

CARLSON: Right.

DE BLASIO: You’re talking about a big issue that needs to be in every day in this dialogue, every day in this debate. If we’re not talking about automation, we are not actually talking about the honest future for working people in this country.

CARLSON: All right. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, Mr. Mayor, thank you. Come back anytime.

DE BLASIO: Thank you, Tucker.

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