GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis mocked Mayor de Blasio on Thursday, saying he should go back to using his given German name after his refusal to defend statues of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus.
She made her point while standing under the explorer’s statue in Columbus Circle, which has become the focal point of a cultural battle after Hizzoner said he’d appoint a commission to recommend hateful city monuments for removal.
“I really think Bill de Blasio should go back to using his birth name of Warren Wilhelm, because he obviously doesn’t have the heart and soul of an Italian,’’ Malliotakis said of de Blasio, who is half-Italian.
Malliotakis, who is half-Greek and half-Cuban, has said Columbus statues should stay.
De Blasio has strongly embraced his Italian heritage after adopting his mother’s maiden name as a young adult — even visiting his ancestors’ homes in Italy during his first year as mayor. He has said Columbus is a “complex” historical figure.