U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,811.15
    -18.19 (-0.48%)
     
  • Dow 30

    30,932.37
    -469.64 (-1.50%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,192.35
    +72.92 (+0.56%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,201.05
    +0.88 (+0.04%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    61.66
    -1.87 (-2.94%)
     
  • Gold

    1,733.00
    -42.40 (-2.39%)
     
  • Silver

    26.70
    -0.98 (-3.56%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2088
    -0.0099 (-0.81%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.4600
    -0.0580 (-3.82%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3922
    -0.0091 (-0.65%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    106.5500
    +0.3200 (+0.30%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    44,482.52
    -3,306.26 (-6.92%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    912.88
    -20.25 (-2.17%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,483.43
    -168.53 (-2.53%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,966.01
    -1,202.26 (-3.99%)
     
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Influencers with Andy Serwer: Ray McGuire

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In this episode of Influencers, Andy is joined by NYC mayoral candidate and former Citigroup executive, Ray McGuire to discuss his 2021 run for New York City mayor, what he expects from Joe Biden’s administration, and why the U.S. needs more economic relief and stimulus.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ANDY SERWER: Ray McGuire overcame incredible odds to make it atop Wall Street. Now he's running for mayor of New York City, so more people can achieve the prosperity that he did. McGuire jumped into the race after 15 years at Citigroup, where he served most recently as the global head of corporate and investment banking after climbing through the ranks of an overwhelmingly white profession.

He was raised by a single mother in a modest home in Dayton, Ohio and went on to Harvard, where he also earned law and business degrees. On this week of "Influencers," Ray joins me to talk about corporate America's response to the attack on the Capitol, what's wrong with COVID vaccine distribution, and his plan to help the country's biggest city bounce back.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Hello, everyone. I'm Andy Serwer. Welcome to "Influencers," and welcome to our guest, Ray McGuire, candidate for New York City mayor, who spent 15 years in various roles at Citigroup, most recently as chairman of banking capital markets and advisory. Ray, nice to see you.

RAY MCGUIRE: Nice to see you, Andy. How are you doing? Thank you for having me.

ANDY SERWER: Doing all right. Thank you for joining us. So, Ray, let me ask you straight off. Why do you want to be mayor of New York City?

RAY MCGUIRE: You know, Andy, that's what my 94-year-old mother asked me when I told her I quit my job to pursue this journey. Listen, I love this city. I love the city. It's where I met my lovely wife, Crystal, and where we're raising our three children-- Leo, who is 8; Ella, who is 18; and Cole, who's 20, who will this evening start as a point-- starting point guard for the Orlando Magic.

But, you know, right now, this city is-- is suffering. We're managing three existential crises-- crisis of the pandemic, crisis of the economy as a result of that, and crisis of racial and-- and religious segregation. So what I've done is-- is kind of how I got here. Who I am will inform why I want to be mayor and why it's so important. Who I am-- and it's-- I came from the other side of the tracks, the other side of the tracks.

I was raised by my single mother. I didn't know my father. My single mother and my grandparents raised me and my two brothers in a home that at any point in time had half a dozen foster children with us. And I grew up across the street from the Howard Paper Mill. And sometimes, it emitted fumes that were so strong that the only way that we could breathe was to open the refrigerator door.

And I knew when my mother, who was a social worker, had to make the debate between putting food on the table or paying Dayton Power and Light, the gas and electric bill, or putting tithes in the church. And I know what it's like when you hear that conversation taking place. And I know what it's like when you have no money, and you have to wash the tin foil, and what it's like when you get to the end of a bar of soap. You put as many of them together as you can and boil them to convince yourself that you have a bar of soap. I know what that's like.

So I know what it's like not to have. And I know what my mother sacrificed for me and my two brothers to get here. My mother sacrificed so I could have an education. And it was education and her sacrifices that allowed me to get here. And so when I came to New York, I had three things. I had a great education. I had a lot of debt. And I had no money.

And New York has been-- New York has been great to me. It gave me the opportunity with all the sacrifices and with the education to come here and to compete in one of the most competitive fields that exists anywhere, and to do that for 36 years at the highest level-- the highest level. So, Andy, I take my lived experiences, how I got here, my foundation and my knowing what it's like not to have, and what I've been able to do in business on Wall Street, in business, managing and leading for 36 years, and the relationships. I bring all that together.

And it is a city that I love. And it's at a point in time where you can make a difference. And so I can make a difference in the lives of so many, especially those kids, Black and brown, who look like me. And that's what this is about. And that's why I'm running.

ANDY SERWER: You propose, Ray, an economic recovery plan called "Go Big; Go Small" that calls for major investments in infrastructure, skills for training workers, support for small business. And you say, it'll be the biggest job plan in generations. Why focus on those areas in particular?

RAY MCGUIRE: Because right now, we are in the midst of a crisis. And what I have written about is today, George Floyd and COVID have been the big reveal for 400 years of systemic inequities in education and in the economy, in health care and in the criminal justice system. And what my "Go Big; Go Small" vision is, is to make sure that we do, and I lead the biggest economic recovery-- inclusive economic recovery-- in the history of this city. It is fundamental.

It is fundamental, for this city to achieve the greatness that it so deserves, that we fix the economy. You gotta go big. You gotta go small. You gotta fix the small businesses. And you gotta put people to work. So my strategy-- my strategy is to employ hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, all of whom live in New York within the five Boroughs-- I don't want to import the talent-- so that we can grow our way out of this crisis. And we can do that. We did it in the '70s.

At the height of the Great Depression, we built the Empire State Building. We built the Chrysler Building. We got out of the '70s when business, labor, and government came together. And we can do this today. We gotta make it inclusive, because up to this point, it hasn't been.

ANDY SERWER: Let me ask you about COVID, Ray, because there is news that New York City is running out of vaccine. So how would you assess the way that Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have handled the pandemic and the distribution of vaccine? And what would you do differently?

RAY MCGUIRE: So what I would do differently is-- you have to plan for this. And given what I've been able to do for four decades is plan, you have to plan for worst case scenarios. And you have to not only plan, you have to go through scenarios. And you gotta get the right team in place. We knew the vaccine was coming.

We knew the vaccine was coming. We should have spent endless days planning for how we're going to distribute it, for one, endless days planning on informing New Yorkers of the impact and necessity to take the vaccine, while also emphasizing what we have been somewhat effective at-- social distancing and masks. I would have overplanned for this and communicated with New Yorkers in a way that didn't actually happen, which is why we're managing today through-- through the poor management of the distribution of this and the poor management of how we informed New Yorkers.

ANDY SERWER: You've raised a bunch of money so far, Ray-- I think maybe $5 million, a lot of it from wealthy backers. You know, there'll be questions about whether New Yorkers can trust you, that you look out for their interests-- the working people-- when your campaign draws on so much support from wealthy individuals.

RAY MCGUIRE: Well, you know, I want to be clear about this, Andy. We've-- we've been able to attract contribution from 3,700 people across the spectrum, which is how I exist. I operate-- I'm fluent in the streets and the suites. We've identified some high-dollar donors. But we got some low-dollar donors as well.

And it's all New Yorkers who've come together regardless of race, creed, zip code, color, to participate in my campaign because they recognize they want something different. All the promises of the past have not been fulfilled. As a matter of fact, it's gotten worse.

It hasn't gotten better. It's gotten worse educationally. It's gotten worse economically. It's gotten worse in the health care system. It's gotten worse in the criminal justice system. It has gotten worse. So people want a change. They want something different.

I'm like Shirley Chisholm. I'm unbought, unbossed, unbound. My sole focus-- my sole focus is what's in the best interest of New Yorkers. That's it-- especially the Black and brown people who look like me, who have not been included. So I welcome all contributions.

How can they trust? Look at my track record. Look at my track record of doing what the great leaders have told us we should do, standing on the shoulders of the great leaders. And what they've done is extended a ladder. So look at the number of mentees that I have across this city, across this country.

If you look at Black Wall Street and Brown Wall Street for the past two decades, for the most part, I've had some impact. Look at the capital. Not only have we been able to serve as an example, but look at the factual capital. We've taken people from no class to lower class to middle class to upper class, gotten capital into the community so people can participate. So they can take the examples and the shoulders on which we all stand. Given the opportunity in education, and given the opportunity to recognize there are things out there that they can do, they've been able to rise up, to lift up.

So I'd be prepared to take my factual history compared to all the promises that you've seen across the board. Look at the facts. You want to trust anything? Trust the facts, not the false promises, but the facts.

ANDY SERWER: I like that Shirley Chisholm quote, by the way. I haven't heard about her in quite some time. That's maybe for some of the older people out there. But, um, I want to-- and I want to ask you more about New York, Ray. But if you are to become mayor of this city, you will be asked to weigh in on pretty much every subject under the sun, because as mayor of New York, everything is part of your purview.

So I want to go around and ask you some of those questions. And let's start with what has been transpiring in Washington DC recently-- maybe for quite some time, but especially recently. And I'm talking about the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. What was your take on that?

RAY MCGUIRE: Total unmitigated travesty. Total unmitigated travesty, which reflects the deep divide to which I've referenced here. Deep divide-- there are people who don't feel that what has occurred over the past few years-- for many of us, over the past few centuries-- reflects the ambitions that we as a country set out to give all of our citizens.

And so that divide, that is increasing. That divide played out in so many stark contrasts in what we saw last week. Compare the photographs to when you saw a peaceful protest against 8 minutes and 46 seconds of a cold-blooded murder. You saw these protests against George Floyd and that abuse. And the country came together. A collage of the great of this country, from all kinds of creeds and colors and religions, say, we don't stand for this.

Look at that movement. And look at-- look at the-- how the Capitol Hill steps were guarded, armed militia. And then look at what was an insurgence movement. And there were no guards guarding the steps-- none. They broke into our Capitol and threatened our leadership. That's a travesty against justice. That's a travesty against democracy-- travesty. We should have zero tolerance for that-- zero.

And New York City will stand up as the united city, one New York-- one New York. And that's what I stand for. You cannot tolerate what went down in Washington. We will not tolerate that under my administration in New York City, because it's going to reflect the entirety from the bricks to the boardroom. Everybody's going to be included in this growth, which is the only way this city is going to survive and be the greatest city on the planet going forward-- the only way.

ANDY SERWER: Do you think Donald Trump should be convicted by the Senate and prevented from ever serving in office again?

RAY MCGUIRE: I don't think Donald Trump should ever serve in office again. And yes, he should be. If he incited that, by all means, yes. Anybody who creates those crimes against the US government, against democracy-- yes. Do not-- he should not ever serve in public office again, ever. And anyone who supports him-- we should make sure that-- that we do the correct and appropriate condemnation of that.

ANDY SERWER: Let me ask you about businesses, including your former employer Citigroup, which said they would suspend political donations in the wake of the Capitol siege. Do you think that's been the right response?

RAY MCGUIRE: That begins the conversation, yes. We begin the conversation there. We should have zero tolerance-- I want to be bright, clear and unequivocal-- zero tolerance, zero.

ANDY SERWER: Right. Let me ask you about the stimulus package that President-elect Biden has proposed-- $1.9 billion expanding unemployment benefits, $1,400 checks, $15 minimum wage among other measures. Is this too much, too little, or the appropriate response? What's your take?

RAY MCGUIRE: Again, it begins. We're suffering. We got-- we got the existential crisis with this pandemic. COVID has ripped and ripped through our communities and wrought havoc on many communities, especially disproportionately on Black and brown communities. We saw today the announcement of the budget deficit, which is going to be material in this city. We need to repair that. We need leadership that is going to address that directly.

So yes, welcome the assistance. We will need more. We will need more in order for this country to make sure that it addresses the least of these. Americans, New Yorkers are suffering. COVID, the economy, injustices across the system-- we need to address that. And we need leadership that's going to bring this city and this country together.

That's what we need today, because absent that, as Lincoln said, a nation divided cannot stand. And as my dear mother says-- and we talk about the scripture-- when the foundations fall, and when the foundation is crumbling, what will the righteous do? Who's going to stand up for all of us? Who can lead us forward?

Who can do that? Who's got the relationships and the lived experiences and the leadership and the management skills to pull all this together-- that trifecta, which is going to be necessary to bridge all the divides, which have gotten worse-- they've gotten broader.

ANDY SERWER: Have you thought, Ray, about-- let me ask you two things. Have you thought about how to get more aid for New York City from the federal government, because that money has not come for the most part, number one, and number two, how to boost up small businesses, which are hurting so much, because you look-- you walk down the street here in New York, Ray. You see the Chipotle is open. You see the-- the Chase Bank is open. But then the small independent store is closed. How can you help them?

RAY MCGUIRE: So let me give you-- I'm going to answer both questions. One, small businesses-- as you've identified, my vision is go big; go small. Go small is the lifeblood of the city. Small businesses represent half of New Yorkers. Half of New Yorkers work for small business. So I want to do a couple things. One, I want to give a lifeline to those small businesses.

I want to-- I want to put money into the community banks. I want to make certain that the bureaucracy that exists for small business formation, that we eliminate that. I want to give a lifeline to the existing small businesses, one of three which are out of work now, that are shut down and may not come back. And I want to make it easier and incentivize the formation of small businesses.

I want to have a small business advocate. And I want to have a shot clock. Small business advocate that is there to help the formation of small businesses, to aggregate all the permitting. Then the shot clock says that-- and I'm going to say, illustratively, 60 days. You get a chance to apply. And if the city hasn't responded in 60 days, shot clock runs out. Business gets formed.

I want to give them grants, low interest loans, and equity capital to start these small businesses. I want to advocate for them. Small businesses should be clients of, customers of a city, which is the way this city survives. That's going small. That's fundamental to our economic-- inclusive economic recovery.

ANDY SERWER: And what about that aid from the federal government piece?

RAY MCGUIRE: So the federal government is giving us some. We need more. I am-- I am encouraged a bit by their focus on infrastructure, because that's part of my go big. But we'll need more. And we have the relationships in Washington to make the case-- to make the case. We have a track record when we make the case with those decision makers in Washington today, who know us. I introduced Kamala Harris to New York, to the business community in New York-- vice president-elect. We have relationships in Washington.

And also what it's going to require here, which you haven't mentioned, is the private sector needs to get involved. We need to have active, active, robust public-private sector partnerships in order for this city to have the growth, for me to lead that growth that I'm describing. Public-private-- and we have the relationships there, meaning I know the people who can help us out. I'm a phone call away from any key decision maker in this country.

And we could bring it all together, which is what's going to be needed. This is what we're going to need in order to have this recovery, this comeback. The greatest comeback in the history of New York City-- that's what we're going to lead.

ANDY SERWER: Biden has promised another round of spending in February that will be funded in part by a tax hike on the wealthy and corporations. Is that a good idea? And will you have to raise taxes in New York City to get the city back on its feet?

RAY MCGUIRE: So the answer is you have to look at the budget in total. I want to focus on the New York City budget. We have to grow our way out of this. As we've seen today, you have at least a $5 billion budget deficit. We saw the decrease in the largest-- the largest part of the budget, which is property taxes. We saw a decrease in that in its contribution.

We have to look at the budget entirety. And as you know, I've been in a leadership role in business-- leadership role for 13 years, which means I had to manage a budget every quarter. I know how to manage budgets. And I've managed budgets from the depths of the crisis.

We have to grow our way out of this. Everything needs to be on the table, including taxes. We can't tax our way out of this. And those who have the resources-- like me and others-- will have to contribute more. But we need to make certain that those tax dollars are well used.

So yes, we're going to have to-- we're going to have to do what you have to-- everything is going to be on the table. Everything will be on the table. But we have to grow our way out of this.

ANDY SERWER: And-- and what about-- and this sort of is adjacent to that last question. What about wealth inequality, because the wealthiest people in this country and in New York have just gotten wealthier during the pandemic. It's kind of astonishing. But, you know, they're part of financial services, like you are, or tech. And they just did-- they did just fine over the past 12 months. So how do we bring them together? You talked about taxes as a part of it. Are there other mechanisms?

RAY MCGUIRE: So taxes are part of the budget. I want to be clear. It's part of the overall budget. You got to go line item by line item. But this-- what you-- this divide that you've described-- I've written about this in one of the definitive pieces on the impact of racial inequities in this country. And what I've said is that George Floyd and COVID have been the big reveal.

And what the study shows is that the impact on 400 years of systemic inequity, economically, to the US economy has been $16 trillion. Look at the analysis. I wrote the foreword. And we go through and analyze the components of that. And then we say, if we begin to address it now, that's $5 trillion that gets added to the US economy.

So what we're seeing now has been systemic. We need to address the systemic inequities, which is why when I describe the greatest comeback, it's the greatest inclusive comeback, because far too many-- far too many, as you've referenced-- have not been included. And we've created a-- that wealth gap has only gotten larger. It gets reflected in home ownership. It gets reflected in just the net worth.

1954, we saw the extraordinary decision of Brown versus Board of Education. 1954, we saw the creation of the beacon of suburbia, which is Levittown, that had as part of it systemic redlining. So Black folk and brown folk couldn't be part of that. Homeownership-- 66 years of inequities. We need to address that today, which is go big; go small-- beginning to address those inequities.

It's going to take us a while to address what's happened during the course of the history of this country. But we can begin with the right leadership. Having identified the problem, we now know what the prescription is, which is included in my vision of how we're going to do this.

ANDY SERWER: We talked a little bit about small businesses. But what about people who work at big companies, Ray, in New York City, in Manhattan in particular but also in Brooklyn. How and when can we go back into those big buildings?

RAY MCGUIRE: Well, we have to-- we can go back when it's safe to go back. So I'm listening to the scientists. I'm making-- I'm-- I'm encouraging us for disseminate or distribute this vacc-- first, we need to inform the public that it's OK, that it's safe, because the history that many Black and brown people have had with vaccinations don't immediately say, oh, I'm gonna run and take the vaccine. So we need to inform the public that it's OK. I will take the vaccine. As soon as it becomes available to me, I will take the vaccine.

So we need to make the city safe, which means the vaccine for one, a fair distribution that gets monitored to make certain that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to take the vaccine. Other countries have done it. Other cities are doing it. We need to do it. We need to improve on that.

Once we make the city safe health-wise, we need to make it safe and secure and get the quality of life to which we all have been experienced, which we've become used to. Not everybody is used to that. But we need to address that. And so when that happens-- and you can, in many of these instances, create bubbles inside of offices, inside of entertainment. And just be reflected that the CARES Act did include stage, live performances within the arts, which are so essential.

But once we can do that, we then begin to return to the livelihood that created the premium experience in New York. And so we have to make it safe. Once you've made it safe, then we can outline. We can-- then we can begin to roll out many of the parts of the vision.

ANDY SERWER: Another critical part of New York City, Ray, is the MTA, the subway. Um, what is your understanding of the budget and the situation there? How dire are things right now? And how will you shore that up?

RAY MCGUIRE: So let's be clear. The MTA is critical, critical to how New York functions. An even day, you got-- at any given day, you have 4 million people who come into the city. They generate 59% of the retail revenue. And they take the income and then go into the Boroughs. Many of them stay here. Many of them go into the Boroughs.

The MTA is critical to the vibrancy of New York. So the MTA must survive. And it must thrive. One of the benefits to the federal program is that the federal program has given support to the MTA. We-- they need-- we need for them to continue to give that support to the MTA. It's fundamental to the city.

ANDY SERWER: I want to ask about some of the people that you're running against, because there's a bunch of them. Um, let's take Andrew Yang. He's a high profile guy. How are you different or better than Andrew Yang?

RAY MCGUIRE: I will say, as a lot, I'm different to all of them. I'm different to everyone. I'm not a politician. Remember, on October the 15th-- and I delayed it, because I knew the reaction-- I called my 94-year-old mother. I said, Mama, I quit my job. If you ever had a conversation like that-- she says, boy, you have lost your mind. What-- I thought you had a good job, a good paying job. I said, Mama, yes. And I explained to her why I decided to do that, why I decided to do that.

And so I-- I'm doing this because I love this city. And it is the only opportunity that I see-- that I see-- where we can make a difference for all New Yorkers, all the children out there, all of them, to be able to get an education so that they can experience the same thing that I experienced coming from the neighborhood, so that the teacher who's so vitally involved in their lives can have the same impact in their lives as they had in mind.

So I will make that distinction. I don't owe anybody anything. I didn't get termed out. I'm not looking for a promotion. I haven't lost a race. I quit my job to do this. So I will say, that's what distinguishes me from everybody else. I'm not like the rest of them.

ANDY SERWER: Now what about someone like Scott Stringer. You know, people like that are going to say, this guy, Ray McGuire-- he doesn't know about government. OK, sure. OK, he's an outsider-- great. But you have to know about government to make this city work. How would you respond to that?

RAY MCGUIRE: Well, I'm looking at a track record here of lots of years of knowing about government. And the situation's gotten worse. Situation's gotten worse. I'd look at my track record of having successfully led and managed a big business with budgets that are sometimes bigger than state budgets. The business of New York is the business of New York. You have to manage New York with a set of skills that manages a business.

And I get all the rhetoric. But I'm looking at the track record. Look at my track record in business. Look at my track record as a private citizen. And I'm prepared to put that track record of success, of tangible, demonstrable success with promises filled, with-- with-- with underpromising and overperforming, which is the only way that anybody who looks like me could have lasted in that job for 13 years. Nobody else in the history of Wall Street-- longest in the history of Wall Street. I will put that track record up against anybody who's in this race.

And look at that track record and what I've accomplished, especially for Black and brown folks, relative to what's been accomplished by all the others. I'm prepared to put that track record up there. Look at the facts. As they say, look at the lily work. I'm prepared to have that lily work judged--

ANDY SERWER: Just a couple [INAUDIBLE].

RAY MCGUIRE: --relative to all the rest of them.

ANDY SERWER: A couple--

RAY MCGUIRE: I see what has gotten-- I see what's-- excuse me. I see what has resulted in all the people who can manage this. Situation's gotten worse. The divide has grown larger. What's that look-- what's that got us?

ANDY SERWER: You'll also have to get along with Governor Cuomo in this new job, if you get it. Do you get along with him, or will you get along with him?

RAY MCGUIRE: Absolutely. It's a relationship of respect and admiration. Governor Cuomo, the two senators-- known them for a long time, supported them-- supported them and will continue to. So it is not only the governance in the state but also the governance in the Capitol where we have relationships. And we all have to come together.

This divisiveness, these ad hominem attacks-- we gotta rise above this. What is it going to advance us? What will it advance us? What has it advanced us? Nothing. We've gotten worse. It is about time to get rid of all that BS and come together and-- and-- and be part of great leadership.

We got a chance to change the course of history. And if we don't take this opportunity, and we all don't step up, there ain't no cavalry. Ain't no plan B. We don't get it done now, it's gonna get worse. That divide is going to get starker. So all the divisive language-- I could care less about all of that. I'm caring about what's best for New York. Who's going to lead this New York? Who can bring this New York together-- one New York-- not divided?

When somebody picks up your garbage, you have no idea what political affiliation they have. You make certain your garbage gets picked up. That's what you care about. So why don't we focus on things that are fundamental to the quality of life in this city, to make certain that we come together, not get all of that petty divisiveness? We saw what happened with that last week in Washington.

Why do we want to continue that travesty? That's not who we are. That's not the best of who we are. That is not the best of who we are. I want to get the best of us so that we can show the world that we remain the best city on the planet. That's what I'm looking for.

And that's the leadership. That's the governance structure-- the best people, the brightest minds coming together, regardless of affiliation, for the best interests. Sole motivation is what's in the best interest of New York City. That's it, plain and simple. All the rest of that stuff doesn't matter to me.

ANDY SERWER: Last question, Ray-- New York City sports teams. We haven't had many championships across the board-- baseball, football, basketball, hockey-- not so many lately. Do you have any vision or hope or advice for those teams? Who do you root for?

RAY MCGUIRE: We go through cycles. And we may be kind of on a different cycle now. But we'll come back. I'm good. I believe in New York. I believe in New York City teams. Remember, the comparable is still-- around the country, it's still to New York. We still set the standard. And so when we return to our winning ways-- when we return to our winning ways, we still will be the beacon. We still will be the center against which-- the standard against all other sports teams and all other cities judge.

What happened in New York? Where's New York? You're not talking about what happened in any other city. And any other city's talking about what's happening in New York. That's the New York that I'm talking about.

Remember I started at the bottom-- started at the bottom. Now I'm here. Started at the bottom-- now we're here. We can get this done. I have zero reservations-- zero reservations-- about our ability to win, none whatsoever. We come together, and we have the right leadership.

ANDY SERWER: All right, we're going to have to leave it at that. Ray McGuire, candidate for New York City mayor and former Citigroup executive. Thank you so much for your time.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

RAY MCGUIRE: Thank you for having me. And let's go, New York-- the greatest comeback in the history of this great city. Thank you.

ANDY SERWER: You've been watching "Influencers." I'm Andy Serwer. We'll see you next time.