3:57 pm Jun. 5, 2012
As far as the race to succeed him is concerned, Mayor Michael Bloomberg tends to reserve praise for his ally, Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Today, he lavished praise on two of her rivals.
Quinn, who has been trying to establish some measure of independence from the mayor in recent months, has taken cautious issue with his controversial proposal to ban large servings of sugary drinks in city bodegas and restaurants.
Not so Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Both appeared at a press conference today at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx where, flanked by hospital administrators and doctors, they hailed Bloomberg's latest anti-obesity effort.
"It's fair to say from time to time we disagree on some other issues, but I think you have consistently set a visionary approach on areas of public health, starting most notably with the smoking ban, but in other areas as well," said de Blasio.
Stringer was also effusive on the subject of the administration's public-health policies.
"If public health is our goal and obesity is our enemy, we must be creative and aggressive to fight and win this war," said Stringer. "And that's why today I commend Mayor Bloomberg for drawing the line in the sand and taking on the soda cartel that is driving the obesity epidemic in this country."
Following the main portion of the press conference, which was designed to bolster Bloomberg's argument that large servings of sugar soda lead to obesity, the mayor returned the favor.
Asked about Quinn's opposition to the plan and absence from the press conference, the mayor said he hadn't spoken with her on the topic.
"I hope to persuade her," he said. "But I think if you take a look at Scott and at Bill, they really are in the right side of this."
When a reporter asked what he thought about the complaint, from councilmembers, that the mayor should get Council approval before moving ahead on the measure, the mayor compared Stringer and de Blasio favorably to the legislative body.
"As you can see, the borough president had the courage to do it, he didn't just complain about anything, it didn't go through the borough president's Office," said Bloomberg. "Scott Stringer doesn't need somebody to tell him what to think. He thinks, makes his decision, and he stands up and he has the courage to do it. And so did Bill de Blasio."
Later, he said, "I will say this: Both these guys stand there and make their own decisions, and I respect them for it. I happen to think this is the right thing to do. I hope everybody else will come along and do exactly the same thing."
More by this author:
- Albany's unlikely marijuana legalization champion sees interest, but no movement yet
- Bloomberg pans a Cuomo-backed answer to Albany corruption