12:17 pm Dec. 4, 2012
This morning, following reports that Mayor Michael Bloomberg had asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to consider running for mayor in 2013, a reporter asked Bloomberg about the thought process behind his entreaty.
The mayor reacted with indignation, though not an actual denial.
"Why do you think I encouraged Hillary Clinton to run for mayor," asked Bloomberg this morning, in annoyed tone of voice. "I mean, did you hear me say that?"
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has herself been running for mayor with Bloomberg's tacit approval, stood at Bloomberg's side.
"This administration, I think, has been phenomenally successful," he continued. "I take great pride in that. It would not have happened without Chris Quinn being the speaker of the City Council for the last eight years. And let's leave the subject at that. This woman has made an enormous difference in the city, she is a leader, and I have nothing but respect for her."
The mayor's latest quasi-endorsement of Quinn came following a press conference announcing the start of construction at the 26-acre Hudson Yards development on the far west side, a development that the mayor repeatedly attributed, in part, to the good work of the Council speaker.
The mayor went on to take several more questions when, to his dismay, the conversation reverted to the Hillary question.
Michael Howard Saul, of the Wall Street Journal, asked whether the mayor was dissatisfied with the current crop of mayoral contenders.
"I don't know who's gonna run," said the mayor. "But if you want to start a fight between me and Chris Quinn, you're not gonna do it. It's cheap, lousy journalism. This is a woman who's made a big difference in this city."
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