De Blasio defends himself from blackout criticism

When the lights went dark in Manhattan, Mayor Bill de Blasio was in Iowa, continuing his campaign for President of the United States. That has garnered him some criticism, with some saying that the city’s mayor needs to be on-hand for such emergency situations.

However, De Blasio is defending himself, saying that he was never not in communication with city officials during the blackout.

“With modern communications, the minute it was clear we had a serious situation, I was on the phone to all these folks, we were talking constantly, we were making decisions about what had to be handled,” De Blasio said. 

De Blasio had appeared on CNN from Waterloo, Iowa as the blackout rolled over more than 40 Manhattan blocks. And while he was finding a way back home, Governor Andrew Cuomo was calling up the National Guard and visiting the Con-Ed facility where the power failure began.

However, Cuomo told FOX 5 NY that it is not on him to judge the Mayor.

“For me, there’s no substitute for being there, but different people have their own styles, and I’ll leave it to them and I’ll leave it to the people who elect them,” Cuomo said. 

De Blasio has said that he has no interest in a third term, while council speaker Corey Johnson, who is exploring a Mayoral run, is receiving praise for spending the blackout tweeting the latest updates on power and subway service. 

"I'm proud of how things went last night," Johnson said. "We need to the root cause of what happened."