Hillary Clinton and New York mayor Bill de Blasio are drawing heat for a racially charged joke they made over the weekend.
During Saturday night’s Inner Circle dinner, an annual entertainment show for local politicians, reporters and other insiders, Clinton joined de Blasio onstage for a surprise appearance with “Hamilton” actor Leslie Odom, Jr.
“I just have to say, thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough,” Clinton said, needling the mayor for his endorsement that came more than six months after she announced her campaign.
“Sorry, Hillary. I was running on C.P. time,” de Blasio said, invoking the stereotype of “coloured people time” in a reference that drew groans from some audience members.
Odom, who is black, then butted in:
“That’s not — I don’t like jokes like that, Bill,” he said.
After a beat, Clinton then delivered the punchline.
“Cautious politician time. I’ve been there.”
As the joke made its rounds on Monday, it drew plenty of scorn from users on Twitter:
Hillary Clinton and Bill de Blasio made a racist joke together.
How much information do you need to prove she ain’t here for us?
— Venus Selenite (@venusselenite) April 11, 2016
— tᕼe ᒪᑌᑕᗩᔕ ᗷᖇOᔕ (@lucasbros) April 12, 2016
I still love how the awful “CP Time” joke bit from Clinton and DeBlasio seems right out of a Veep episode.
— Jonathan Cohn (@JonathanCohn) April 12, 2016
— Gabe Lava (@gabelava) April 12, 2016
if you’re black and work in the mayor’s office, you’re allowed to go to work at noon tomorrow
— Rembert Browne (@rembert) April 11, 2016
De Blasio told CNN on Monday that all parties were in on the bit, and that critics were “missing the point.”
The joke came days after former president Bill Clinton’s heated exchange with a group of Black Lives Matter protestors who had interrupted him while he was giving a speech on behalf of his wife. The next day, Clinton said he “almost” wanted to apologise to the protestors.