1:41 pm Oct. 4, 2012
The general (universal?) consensus may be that Mitt Romney won the first of the three planned presidential debates, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned today that Romney shouldn't get too comfortable.
"The press today, everybody handicaps who's won and who's lost," he said at a press conference in Brooklyn. "And, let me just remind everybody that if you go back to Mondale, my recollection was back in '84, I think it was, Mondale beat Reagan in the first debate. And last time I heard 'President Mondale,' I don't remember that phrase being used. And John Kerry beat George Bush, George W. Bush, back in '04. And John Kerry, he's a great public servant, a great senator, he's dedicated to helping the country, but he won the debate but he didn't win the competition that really matters."
Bloomberg, an independent, knows who he's voting for but won't say publicly, criticizing both candidates with scrupulous equivalency for their lack of attention to issues that matter to him, like gun control and immigration reform.
A reporter asked Bloomberg if he was disappointed that the question of gun control did not come up in last night's debate.
"Yeah I was, actually," he said.
"Look, there's two more debates," Bloomberg continued. "There's a vice-presidential debate. I would hope that they address that issue. I would hope that they address immigration with more clarity. I would hope they address the fiscal problems with more clarity."
That said, unlike the many commentators who faulted Jim Lehrer for allowing the candidates essentially to self-moderate, Bloomberg said he was pleased with the PBS anchor's performance.
"The moderator, Lehrer, did a good job of not just having it a series of your sound bite, my sound bite, your sound bite, and my sound bite," said Bloomberg, who did not actually watch the debate, but read about it. "He did try to get them to connect and to stay on the same subject and point out differences, better than a lot of the debates had been in the past."
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