Earlier this week Bill de Blasio criticized Chris Christie for taking a stand against orphaned Syrian refugee children, but with Democrats across the country, including the president, attacking the New Jersey governor, the mayor needed a way to make his Christie-bashing stand out. Thus, at a press conference on Wednesday, and later on CNN, de Blasio brandished the famous photo of a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned en route to Turkey. “I’d like to know what Governor Christie says about this,” he said. “Is this what he wants to see happen to people? Is this what he wants to see happen to children? We don’t accept that here in New York City.”
A day earlier, when de Blasio called Christie an “embarrassment to this country,” the governor shot back, calling the mayor “a liberal politician who is more interested in making headlines than protecting the people” on Twitter. In response to the latest volley, a Christie spokesperson referred to the governor’s tweet, and dismissed de Blasio’s “hysterics.”
De Blasio said that so far, New York City has resettled eight refugees from the Syrian civil war. Then he jabbed Christie again by bringing up a certain landmark with disputed ownership. “This is a nation of immigrants and we are sitting here in the city that has the Statue of Liberty in it. That is the epitome of welcoming immigrants over generations,” he said. “By the way, those immigrants were in many, many cases fleeing violence and persecution — this is not a new reality in world history. And I’m certain some of those immigrants were Governor Christie’s forebearers.”
As the New York Times notes, fighting with Christie is less politically risky for de Blasio than his dispute with Governor Cuomo — but the Christie feud promises to be far more entertaining.