The Democratic nominee for the mayor of New York City said that he thought Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s now infamous Tax the Rich dress sent the wrong message to the city’s business community, which pay most of the city’s budget.
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Eric Adams doubled down on his promise to improve relations with New York City’s business community, noting that he disagreed with AOC’s stance of taxing the wealthy residents – which was written in large red letters on the back of her dress for the Met Gala last week.
‘I’m a big believer that, you know, I think AOC and I believe we both want the same things, we just have different pathways to get there,’ he told Squawk Box co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin, adding: ‘Her mother was a domestic worker, or did things on that level, [and] so was my mother.
‘But when you talk about just blanketly saying tax [the] rich in this city, we may have 8.8 million people, but 65,000 pay 51 percent of our income taxes,’ Adams continued. ‘And if you say to those 65,000 to leave, then we’re not going to have the firefighters, the teachers – all of those basic things.’
Instead, he said, the city should first look to reduce spending in the city’s budget, and then assess whether taxes should be raised to bring in more cash.
‘Let’s find a way to use the tax dollars,’ he said, ‘we’re wasting tax dollars.’
‘I say let’s make sure we get our house in order through our agencies, and then let’s talk about how much money we need to run this city’s $98 billion budget.
‘And how much of that are we hemorrhaging?’
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday, New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams said Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Tax the Rich dress that she wore to the Met Gala sent the wrong message
Instead, he said, the city should analyze its $98 billion budget to see which programs could be cut and then determine whether taxes should be raised
The interview comes as Adams, widely considered the next likely mayor, tries to distance himself from current Mayor Bill de Blasio, pledging over the past few days to ‘reset’ the city’s relationship with the elites.
‘Think about this for a moment, we are the only country on the globe that we have a dream attached,’ he told Sorkin. ‘You don’t have a French dream, a German dream, you have an American dream.’
As part of that dream, he said, ‘We are hardwired to start a business.’
But, Adams said, ‘We’ve lost that along the way.
‘So I’ve been spending the last few years talking to my business leaders and stated, if I’m fortunate enough to become mayor, we’re going to hit reset and we want to establish that relationship.’
On Friday, Adams decried what he called de Blasio’s ‘hostile approach’ to businesses during his time in office in another interview with Bloomberg Radio.
‘Right now, no one wants to do business in the city,’ Adams said at the time, noting: ‘We have been defined as a business-enemy instead of a business-friendly city.’
He has also promised to enact a pro-business era in City Hall while talking to a group of financial services industry professionals, according to the New York Post.
‘New York will no longer be anti-business,’ he said at the symposium at the Javits Center in Manhattan. ‘This is going to be a place where we welcome business, and not turn into the dysfunctional city that we have been for so many years.’
Adams is widely thought to be the next mayor of New York City due to the left-leaning populace. He has vowed renewed support to the city’s business community
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio has endorsed Adams to be his successor.
At a rally in August, the mayor told a crowd of Adams’ supporters: ‘I’m here to endorse Eric Adams because I believe in him.
‘We’re going to pas the baton to a great leader,’ he said. ‘He’s taking up this moment – a huge challenge, no doubt, a huge challenge – but I can tell him: My team and I are gonna do everything, everything you need to be ready.’
After delivering the remarks, the Daily News reports, de Blasio embraced Adams and whispered in his ear: ‘Go get them.’
Then when he was asked about Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa’s chances of being elected on Monday, the mayor said he had no shot at defeating Adams, the Brooklyn borough president.
‘I believe, objectively, he does not,’ de Blasio said of Sliwa, ‘but you know, we have elections for a purpose.’
‘I think previous opponents brought a certain amount of substance to the table, and that gave them a little more validity,’ he continued. ‘But in the end, I think people of this city are ready to embrace Eric Adams, and I think he’s the right choice.’
The general election will be held on November 2.