New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial victory in Virginia on Tuesday a loss for the National Rifle Association, which had given Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli an A rating.
“If you think about this, Virginia is the home state of the NRA. That’s where their headquarters are,” Bloomberg told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday. “If I had said to you twenty years ago that that a Democrat that is ‘F’ rated by the NRA…could win governor, you would have laughed me out of the room.”
Bloomberg’s participation in the Virginia race was criticized by many conservatives and used to discredit Democratic candidates, but he stood by his decision to donate money to the race.
“From my personal point of view — I represent New York City — when we stop people with guns, illegal guns, more of them come from Virginia, sadly, than from any other state. That was one of the factors that convinced me I should put money into this race,” Bloomberg said.
The outgoing mayor also spoke about New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio, the first Democratic mayor in New York City in more than 20 years. Bloomberg downplayed differences between himself and de Blasio, and has expressed his commitment to make the transition between the two administrations as easy as possible.
“I have a very big vested interested in making Bill de Blasio an even better mayor than I was,” he said. “We’ve built a lot, we’ve given them a lot to work with, as did our predecessors.”
“The bottom line is I’m going to live in New York City and I want Bill de Blasio’s administration to be successful,” he added. “And I’m optimistic. I’m sure everybody’s not going got be happy with every decision Bill de Blasio makes, and they’re not happy with every decision I made,” he said