Bill de Blasio Praises Hillary Clinton While Demurring on Endorsement

Hillary Begins Phase 2 With Official Launch Speech

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who’s said he’s withholding support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy until he knows more about her vision, heard a lot he liked from her on Saturday while not offering an endorsement.

De Blasio, in an e-mailed statement several hours after her first major campaign address, called it a “full-throated progressive framework and a heartfelt expression of Hillary Clinton’s long progressive history.”

Clinton spoke for about 45 minutes at a rally on Roosevelt Island between Manhattan and Queens, near a monument to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of de Blasio’s favorite U.S. presidents. She was cheered on by a friendly crowd of New Yorkers that didn’t include de Blasio.

“Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers,” Clinton told the crowd of about 5,500. “Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations. Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain, too.”

She called for for universal child care, a higher minimum wage and taxes that favor the middle class over the wealthy -- issues de Blasio has been advocating as a core platform for 2016.

The mayor was Clinton’s campaign manager in 2000 when she won election to the U.S. Senate from New York. He worked in former President Bill Clinton’s administration as a regional director at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1997.

That hasn’t stopped de Blasio from holding out on supporting her presidential run.

On May 5, he conditioned his support on Clinton backing a $15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to preferential tax treatment of carried interest earned by private-equity managers. On Thursday, he said she should oppose the Obama-supported trade bill before Congress.

Clinton on Saturday called for a higher minimum wage and fairer trade laws that didn’t hurt U.S. workers, while not using numbers or mentioning pending legislation.

“As she said, she’ll be spelling out her policies on everything from progressive taxation to lifting wages to helping working parents in the weeks to come, and I look forward to those details with enthusiasm and optimism,” de Blasio said.

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