10:36 am Jan. 8, 20131
Here's video of the press conference at which teachers union officials and elected Democrats criticized Michael Bloomberg's comments likening the leadership of the U.F.T. to that of the National Rifle Association.
The mayor, who is locked in ongoing, very unrelated disputes with both organizations, was contending that the leaders of each are out of step with the members.
The head of the national teachers union, Randi Weingarten, said Bloomberg's remark undermined his ability to advocate nationally on issues like education and gun control.
"This was disgusting and the mayor was wrong," she said.
Weingarten also said, "He's been a real leader, nationally, on gun control and by comparing the N.R.A. and the U.F.T., it cheapens his advocacy about gun control at time when we need his advocacy to be sharp."
Bloomberg tried explaining his comment yesterday, but did not offer an apology, which his critics are demanding.
Bloomberg had said, referring to the U.F.T.'s leaders, "The n.r.a.'s another place where the membership, if you do the polling, doesn't agree with the leadership."