New York’s Democratic mayor is facing serious heat for being in Iowa campaigning for president while Manhattan was in the grips of a major power outage.
While Bill de Blasio’s residents were suffering without power, he was touring Iowa — part of his 2020 presidential campaign tour.
Now, de Blasio, already under enormous amounts of scrutiny from New York City residents, is facing mounting pressure to be removed from office.
The Saturday night blackout darkened more than 40 square blocks of Manhattan, including Times Square.
Trouble focusing? It could be this weird organ [Sponsored]
De Blasio faced criticism from numerous corners, including from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat.
A front-page New York Post editorial called for de Blasio’s ouster.
Critics on social media also took their frustrations out on de Blasio.
“This picture will be trouble all week for NYC mayor Bill de Blasio,” one Twitter user wrote.
This picture will be trouble all week for NYC mayor Bill de Blasio. https://t.co/3X7XPIBs67
— Juan Manuel Benítez (@JuanMaBenitez) July 14, 2019
Even ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann took a shot at de Blasio’s handling of the situation.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) July 14, 2019
While de Blasio was in Iowa, New York residents took it upon themselves to try and stabilize the chaos that the blackout caused.
Some residents even helped direct traffic:
— Gareth Smith (@GarethNYC) July 14, 2019
During an appearance Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” de Blasio insisted that the blackout response was well-managed with his remote supervision. No injuries were reported from the blackout, he said, noting that power was back on within several hours.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, you’re in charge of your team and making sure people are executing a plan,” said the mayor, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. “The important thing is to get the right people into the right place.”
Sponsored: Salt beats Metformin for diabetes?
De Blasio said he took a four-hour car ride from Iowa to Chicago and got on the first available plane home.
Cuomo, speaking on public radio Monday morning, said he would leave it to the voters of New York City to pass judgment on de Blasio’s response, but added that “there’s no substitute for firsthand information and firsthand knowledge” during an emergency.
“People want to see their leader on site, in charge, in control, and it makes people feel more confident,” Cuomo said. “There is no substitute for showing up.”
Cuomo ruled out the suggestion, raised by The Post’s editorial, that he use his authority to remove de Blasio from office.
The Associated Press contributed to this article