New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Says Amazon Ran At First Signs of Criticism

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said online retail giant Amazon shrieked at the first sign of major criticism, then "took their ball and went home."

The Democratic mayor who cheered Amazon's decision to choose New York City as its second headquarter location, laid into the company Sunday, saying it abused corporate power.

"This is an example of an abuse of corporate power," de Blasio said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "Amazon just took their ball and went home. And what they did was confirm people's worst fears about corporate America."

After a year-long search for a second headquarter location (HQ2) to complement their Seattle base, Amazon let cities across North America propose bids to land HQ2. The company ultimately selected Long Island City, located in Queens, for the second headquarters, along with additional bases in Nashville, Tennessee and Arlington, Virginia.

The decision left de Blasio and many New Yorkers jubilant, but some Democrats sneered at the bid because of what de Blasio and the city promised Amazon.

According to CNN, New York City offered Amazon $1.525 billion in subsidies — on the contingency that Amazon would hire 25,000 employees with salaries averaging $150,000. That equates to $3.75 billion in taxable income for both the state and federal governments.

The mayor called it a "fair deal" and blasted the company for cowering after criticism about the deal, including those of freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City.

De Blasio said it was an abuse of corporate power, and any company that acted like this didn't particularly have the best interest of its employees.

"They said they wanted a partnership, but the minute there were criticisms, they walked away," de Blasio said. "What does that say to working people that a company would leave them high and dry simply because some people raised criticisms?"

Amazon issued a statement last week that said it didn't have the full cooperation of local and state officials, citing it would be difficult to build local relationships.

The politicians "have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required" to complete HQ2, Amazon said.

Amazon's HQ2 departure from New York has caused a rift among Empire State Democrats. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been on de Blasio's side when it came to cheering Amazon coming to town, but it was Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters applauding when Amazon decided to pull out of New York.

Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed progressive who's behind the proposed Green New Deal, called it a defeat of the "power of the richest man in the world."

Moving forward, de Blasio said he feels confident his administration can still run the city efficiently, even with progressives slamming the city's original deal with Amazon.

"I am representing 8.6 million people, and a clear majority of those people believe we need more fairness in our economy. But of course, we need jobs, we need growth, we need revenue," de Blasio said.

de Blasio Amazon
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (C) looks on as John Schoettler (L), Vice President for Global Real Estate at Amazon, shakes hands with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (R), during a press conference to discuss Amazon's decision to bring a new corporate location to New York City, November 13, 2018 in New York City. Amazon announced earlier in the day that it has chosen Arlington, Virginia and Long Island City in Queens as the two locations, which will both serve as additional headquarters for the company. Amazon says each location will create 25,000 jobs. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images