(The Center Square) – New York officials sharply criticized President Donald Trump on Thursday after he suggested in a tweet earlier in the day that the Nov. 3 general election should be delayed.
Trump went on the social media outlet to again criticize calls for universal mail-in voting. The president, who trails presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in virtually all the national polls, claimed it would lead to an inaccurate result and called for postponing the election if it was not safe to conduct it in less than 100 days.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the president should be pushing the Senate to help local government and those who will see unemployment benefits cut this week. Instead, he said the chief executive assaulted democratic principles with his message.
“This is the act of a tyrant, a president who in the midst of crisis has not taken responsibility for the lives of his people,” the mayor said. “The fact that folks are losing jobs right and left, people are hurting, he's taken no responsibility for that. He's only trying to save his own skin.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted the president talks about a slew of issues in which he has an opinion, but the only ones the governor said he focuses on are the ones where Trump has authority to take action.
“(There’s) a lot of things I would like to do, or I talk about doing, but I don't have legal jurisdiction,” Cuomo said. “He has no authority to change the election date. That would require an act of Congress, and I don't believe there's any desire to do that whatsoever.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi responded to the president’s tweet quoting Article II, Section One of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power to set Election Day.
Trump’s tweet also came on the same day that the country reported its sharpest quarterly decline ever in its gross domestic product. After dropping by 5 percent in the first quarter of the calendar year, the value of all finished products and services fell by nearly 33 percent in the second quarter, which ended in June.
The coronavirus pandemic that led to nationwide stay-at-home orders was to blame for the steep decrease, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said in a statement.
De Blasio said Trump’s tweet on the same day was the equivalent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
“That's what President Trump is doing right now, and he should be the one, the loudest voice for a huge stimulus to save us from this cascading reality, not just New York City, everywhere. And again, he is silent, and he is dithering in this moment,” de Blasio said.