NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to endorse Hillary Clinton Sunday as she officially announced the long-expected news that she would run for president.
Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, de Blasio said he needed to see a progressive vision from Clinton.
"I think like a lot of people in this country, I want to see a vision. And again, that would be true of candidates on all levels. It's time to see a clear, bold vision for progressives," de Blasio said.
Asked again to clarify if he was supporting Clinton, de Blasio, who ran Clinton's 2000 campaign for senator, again declined to endorse.
"No, not until I see, and again, I would say this about any candidate, until I see an actual vision of where they want to go," the mayor said.
"I think she's a tremendous public servant. I think she is one of the most qualified people to ever run for this office. And by the way, thoroughly vetted, we can say that. But we need to see the substance."
De Blasio was criticized on Twitter by Democratic strategist and Clinton supporter Hilary Rosen who said that his "self aggrandizing" at Clinton's "expense won't go unnoticed," with the hashtag "ridiculous."
Rosen also said that Clinton fought for middle class and poor families before de Blasio "could even articulate any vision at all."
Rosen later pulled back from her remarks after being criticized herself, saying that she didn't mean to "disrespect" de Blasio.
"I just think he should have been more sensitive on her announcement" day, Rosen later wrote on Twitter.
Clinton made her announcement official not long after inking a lease for office space for her national headquarters in Brooklyn Heights, not far from de Blasio's home base of Park Slope.
Clinton released a video showing Americans preparing for new things in their lives such as the birth of a child, a gay couple planning to marry and immigrants about to open their first business.
"I'm getting ready to do something too. I'm running for president," Clinton says in her first appearance in the video about a minute and a half into the 2 minute and 27 second clip.
"Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," said Clinton. "Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion."
Clinton embarked on a road trip to Iowa after the announcement and will be doing a listening tour similar to the one she launched in New York state when she ran for senator.
The week before last, de Blasio launched a group seeking to place income inequality on the national agenda for the 2016 presidential election.
Even with his prior relationship with Clinton — who endorsed de Blasio for mayor in 2013 — de Blasio said she would also have to address the issue before he offers any endorsement.
His comments sparked speculation that the mayor could use the platform to increase his national influence, a motivation the mayor denied, saying that he planned to run for a second term as mayor.
Kenneth Sherrill, professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College, said the move not to endorse Clinton immediately could garner de Blasio more influence.
"De Blasio's endorsement is more of a big deal now than two days ago, and that may have been his calculation. He's not shy about these sort of things," said Sherrill, who added that it would be highly unlikely that de Blasio will endorse anyone other than Clinton.