Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Giuliani Says de Blasio Needs to Be in NYC for Possible LIRR Strike

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Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took aim at Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday, saying he needs to be in the city for a possible Long Island Rail Road strike, not on vacation in Italy. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani never liked to be far from the city when he was running City Hall.

"It was my view that the mayor has to be omnipresent," Giuliani said. "When an emergency takes place, you should be here.

Mayor Bill de Blasio seems to have a different approach to governing. Despite the fact that Long Island Rail Road workers may go on strike on Sunday, he is refusing to call off his nine-day family vacation to Italy. He leaves town on Friday.

In a radio interview, the former mayor, a Republican, took aim at de Blasio, a Democrat, for going ahead with his travel plans in the face of a possible strike.

"When you start shutting people out of New York City, New York City starts to lose money. So the more efficient you can make the plan B, the better the city's going to be able to," Giuliani said. "This is how a mayor has to think.

The mayor said he thinks the strike, should it occur, will be manageable because many commuters will be on vacation and others will work from home. Aides said the mayor will be in constant contact with officials back home and is prepared to cut the vacation short if necessary.

"If there is a strike, you have to be here to manage the strike," Giuliani said.

Giuliani did leave the city when he was mayor, but never for long.

"I did Israel in 28 hours, 30 hours," he said. "I went on a relief mission to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. I did that in a day and a half."

Giuliani has gone after de Blasio before. In the spring, he said the mayor seemed to be moving the city in the wrong direction. He has blasted de Blasio for doing battle with charter schools and for showing up late to events as well.

The former mayor has held back, though, when it comes to de Blasio's record on crime. He said it is too soon to judge the new mayor. That may have to do with the fact that de Blasio hired Giuliani's former police commissioner, William Bratton, to serve as his own.

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