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From the Big Apple to the Gate City

NYC mayor de Blasio tours Nashua on 2020 campaign stop

NASHUA – While touting his success in implementing legislation as the mayor of New York City and doubling down on his stance in support of impeaching Donald Trump, 2020 presidential hopeful Bill de Blasio, along with his wife, Chirlane McCray, visited Nashua for the first time as an official candidate to meet with Mayor Jim Donchess and gauge the political climate of the Gate City.

After catching up with Donchess at Nancy’s Diner, where the three discussed topics including bringing commuter rail service to Nashua from Boston and the opioid epidemic, de Blasio and McCray walked with Nashua’s mayor, visiting several downtown locations, including the Riverwalk Cafe & Music Bar and Casa Mezcal Mexican Grill.

De Blasio, who granted the Telegraph an exclusive interview at the end of his visit, said he has hopes of implementing much of what he has accomplished as the Mayor of New York City on a national level, including free pre-K for all children as well as guaranteed health care for all.

“These things change people’s lives fundamentally,” de Blasio said regarding what he sees as some pressing issues for many in the country. We do not have a national policy that guarantees health care in any way. We have tens of millions of people who don’t have insurance, or have insurance they can’t really use that well.”

“We have no national policy on things like paid sick leave, we’ve got no national policy on things like early childhood education,” de Blasio added. “It’s all different, from every city and town and state, and a lot of places can’t afford it. These should be national priorities that would change people’s lives.”

De Blasio and McCray also talked about “Thrive,” which New York City’s first lady said helps to guarantee that citizens have access to mental health care, something that could be implemented throughout the country.

“We’re reaching hundreds of thousands of people with guaranteed access to behavioral health services. That’s never been done in any city,” McCray said. “We want to make sure we are reaching people where they are. This is a strategy, a plan that can be done everywhere. We can reach people where they are.”

Another topic de Blasio touched on was his deepening support for the impeachment of the president, where prior to the Trump’s interview with George Stephanopoulos, he believed that there would be an eventual impeachment after further investigations from House of Representatives committees.

De Blasio said the Stephanopoulos interview shocked him, drawing out a more vocal support toward impeachment.

“I was absolutely in shock after I saw that. He invited hostile foreign nations to interfere with our elections,” he said. “It was barely even coded. He said out loud, sitting at the presidential desk, live on TV, that other countries, if they had information on his opponents should come to him. He welcomed that information.”

Prior to his more vocal support, de Blasio said he hoped that Democrats wouldn’t rush to impeach Trump, but instead continue to work on the everyday issues he believes were not being addressed in Washington, including infrastructure and health care. The president’s words to Stephanopoulos acted as a catalyst to his new pointed view on the topic.

“To me, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said. “I think that, at this point, the only choice is to move forward with an impeachment.”

“He’s crossed a line that no president in history has ever crossed,” he added.

After his visit to the Gate City, de Blasio believes the citizen of New Hampshire are looking for a candidate they can support, and while he is hoping to gain the support of the first-in-the-nation state, he can sense that many of the people he talked to Saturday want new leadership in

Washington.

“I hear a lot of folks, the vast majority of folks say they don’t have a candidate yet,” he said about the people he spent time talking to Saturday. “They say they’re shopping around, they’re looking for a lot more information, but they know they want change.”

“They don’t like the uncertainty that is coming out of Washington every day, they don’t like the negativity and the division,” he added, “they want a different reality. That’s what I’m hearing.”