NEW YORK —New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s office defended the words of de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, after competing candidate Christine Quinn took offense.
A New York Times reporter had asked McCray why she thinks Quinn has been unable to capture the wide support of female voters.
McCray answered, according to a recording of the interview posted on SoundCloud.com (play below):
“Well I am a woman, and she is not speaking to the issues I care about and I think a lot of women feel the same way.
“I don’t see her speaking to the concerns of women who have to take care of children at a young age or send them to school and after school, paid sick days, workplace, she is not speaking to any of those issues.
“What can I say? And she is not accessible, she is not the kind of person that I feel that you can go up and talk to and have a conversation with about those things, and I suspect that other women feel the same thing I’m feeling.”
When the comments were referenced in a Times article, Quinn took them as a criticism based on her decision not to have children—one she said in a statement is a “deep and personal one.”
Quinn said: “There are women all across the City who don’t have children for any number of reasons, whether they simply can’t, choose not to, or circumstances don’t afford them the possibility. I have taken a number of shots in this race from the men running against me, and I accept that as par for the course in a political campaign. But to criticize me as not understanding what young families go through because I might not have children, is over the line and I take great personal offense to the comment.”
She continued: “I have spoken fondly of Ms. McCray and Mr. de Blasio’s family. It’s unfortunate that they cannot do the same about mine.”
De Blasio’s campaign manager Bill Hyers released a statement: “Chirlane McCray was misquoted. As the transcript makes clear, her actual comments were about Speaker Quinn’s unwillingness to listen to the people on education, and paid sick leave, and any suggestion otherwise is disingenuous and absurd.”
Quinn spokeman Mike Morey said Quinn’s campaign stands by its statement, as the essence of the quote still targets Quinn’s ability to handle matters related to children.
On the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, Quinn answered some media questions in an off-topic discussion. She said: “I am really just deeply saddened by these comments and I think the longer version is as upsetting as the original.”