Bloomberg, on behalf of cities, asks the candidates for some attention

Bloomberg at the Columbus Day parade. (Dana Rubinstein)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg today said he was troubled by what he considered to be a reluctance on the part of the presidential candidates to address the needs and concerns of cities.

"One of my great concerns is that neither candidate mentioned cities, where a majority of the people live and where all of the improvement in fighting crime and improving education and helping the environment—all of these things are taking place in cities," said Bloomberg, during a brief press conference preceding the Columbus Day Parade. "You would think that both of them would talk about how they could aid cities."

Clyde Haberman, a Times columnist who has frequently sparred with Bloomberg, made precisely the same argument last week:

Nearly all Americans live in cities and their suburbs. But even though this first presidential debate of 2012 focused on domestic policy, the two candidates couldn’t devote so much as a sentence to any thoughts they might have had on mass transit or crime or crumbling infrastructure or homelessness or other matters that enormously affect cities, including, of course, New York.

"When they aid states, that's great," Bloomberg said today. "But the money gets distributed in mainly rural areas, where the density of people is much less. And I'm not suggesting we shouldn't help those people, but where the majority of the people live, we certainly should do something for them."

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