G.O.P. Casts de Blasio as Leftist Archenemy

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from The New York Times,

Jeb Bush, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, offered to help run a campaign to oust him. Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News titan, said he wanted “to beat him up.”

And at a black-tie dinner a few nights ago, a billionaire donor to the Republican Party warned that New York City risked becoming the “New Havana” under his stewardship.

National Republicans, alarmed by the rising influence of activist liberals in government and eager to paint the Democratic Party as captive to its left wing, seem to have settled on an unlikely new nemesis: Mayor Bill de Blasio.

It is a startling turn for a municipal leader who was virtually unknown, even in New York, just a year ago, but now finds himself on the same conservative dartboard as far better established figures like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the occupant of the Oval Office.

But in the actions and policies of Mr. de Blasio’s young administration, Republican leaders see the embodiment of their fears about an empowered New Left: a populist disdain for the rich, open sympathies for organized labor and a relentless focus on income inequality.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey told a Chicago audience not long ago that Mr. de Blasio’s emphasis on closing economic disparities represented a march toward “mediocrity.”

And when the National Republican Congressional Committee sought to undermine a Democrat challenging a Republican House member from Staten Island, it mocked the candidate for his association with “a tax-and-spend liberal like de Blasio.”

Kevin Madden, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and a Republican political consultant, said, “For conservatives, de Blasio is a case study of big government progressivism and its inefficiencies.”

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor and onetime Republican presidential candidate, said that when he met with Republican operatives and donors around the country, they peppered him with anxious questions about the liberal influence of Mr. de Blasio.

“They ask me, ‘What is going to happen to the city?’ ” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview.

Mr. de Blasio’s emergence as a Republican piñata is a measure of his growing prominence beyond the city. The mayor is now in high demand at national Democratic gatherings and has even been on the couch of “The View” on ABC.

But the attention is also a sign of just how much Mr. de Blasio has conformed to Republican stereotypes about what happens when a liberal takes charge.

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