Bloomberg says he never made that ‘ass’ comment

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning angrily denied a report in New York magazine that he said, at an Upper East Side Christmas Party, "Look at the ass on her."

The quote was included in a profile of Christine Quinn.

"Oh, I never said it, and I don't know where it came from," the mayor said today, during an announcement about NYCHA housing this morning.

Bloomberg spent many years in the male-dominated culture of Wall Street, and it isn't out of character for him to say such things. But it's never much hurt him politically and at this point, after his 12 years in public office, most observers just shrug it off.

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At his press conference today, the New York Observer's Hunter Walker followed up on the New York report, asking if the mayor hadn't demonstrated a pattern of sexist remarks.

"OK, you can write anything you want," said Bloomberg, getting angrier. "Don't be ridiculous. That's an outrage for you to say that."

Another reporter, Marcia Kramer, raised her hand.

"I just wondered why you've become the fashion police, giving Christine Quinn advice about wearing high heels and getting her roots done."

(The article in question there also had a couple of memorable anecdotes about the mayor giving Quinn hair and shoe advice.)

"Miss," he said, clearly annoyed. "She asked when we have a conversation and joke about it. There's nothing wrong with that. Chris Quinn is somebody that's really done a lot for this city. I've been a big supporter of hers, as you know. And I think that she represents this city very well."

UPDATE: In a statement, Quinn said: "The mayor and I have a productive, collegial, and fun working relationship. Part of that is a healthy banter in the way only two tough outspoken New Yorkers can have. We joke around and it's all in good fun. By the way, did you notice the hideous tie the Mayor was wearing today?"

UPDATE: On WPIX earlier, Larry Mendte defended Bloomberg's comment. "I like him for saying that." He said reporting on a comment overheard at a party was a "cheapshot."

A woman co-hosting the segment agreed, and said the mayor's comments were understandable. "He's human."