New York Mayor Accuses Chris Christie of 'Playing to the Cheap Seats' on Syrian Refugees

PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio outlines his vision for New York City schools at Bronx Latin School on Sept. 16, 2015 in New York City. PlayAndrew Burton/Getty Images
WATCH New York City Mayor Blasts Chris Christie for Syrian Refugee Stance

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is blasting New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie for his opposition to the U.S. accepting Syrian refugees, calling Christie an “an embarrassment to this country” and accusing him of “playing to the cheap seats.”

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De Blasio, who strongly supports the entry of Syrian refugees who have been vetted into the United States, launched his war of words against Christie on Tuesday in response to the Republican presidential candidate saying on Monday that he would not make an exception for any Syrian refugees, not even orphans under the age of five, at this point.

Christie, who has cited concerns about the vetting of Syrian refugees as his principal concern in opposing their acceptance to the U.S. and has said New Jersey will not accept any Syrian refugees at this time, hit back at de Blasio on Twitter on Tuesday, saying that it’s to be expected from a “liberal politician” like de Blasio.

.@BilldeBlasio wouldn’t expect anything less from a liberal politician who is more interested in making headlines than protecting the people

— Chris Christie (@ChrisChristie) November 17, 2015

“I don’t trust this administration to effectively vet the people that they’re asking us to take in,” Christie has said of his opposition to the refugees. “We need to put the safety and security of the American people first.”

But de Blasio continued to criticize the New Jersey governor today for his position, holding up a picture of refugee boy whose body washed up on the beach and saying, “I'd like to know what Gov. Christie wants to do about this.”

“This child's death was on the front pages of newspapers all over the world,” de Blasio said. “Gov. Christie specifically said he did not think it was appropriate for small children to be brought in. Is this what he wants to see happen to people? Is this what he wants to see happen to children? We don’t accept that here in New York City.”

And in a television interview, de Blasio accused Christie of “playing to the cheap seats.”

“I have to say some people bluntly are playing to the cheap seats here, Gov. Christie most notably, who in fact talked about not letting in the young children,” de Blasio said today in an interview with CNN. “What on earth does that have to do with our security situation?”

New York City has already accepted eight refugees in response to the Syrian crisis so far, and De Blasio assured the only way they were allowed into the city, as is always the case with refugees, is through a careful and extensive vetting process.

De Blasio has also criticized another Republican presidential candidate and New York resident Donald Trump for suggesting that mosques may need to be closed in the United States.

“We will adhere to the words of our Founding Fathers, not Donald Trump,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Mosques don't commit acts of terrorism. People do.”