Bloomberg on the Rockaways hecklers: ‘They’ve been dealt a bad hand by God’

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Bloomberg in Hunter's Point. (Dana Rubinstein)
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On Saturday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg walked in the St. Patrick's Day parade in the Rockaways, an area badly hit by Hurricane Sandy, and got heckled.

This afternoon, at a freezing cold outdoor press conference about a new affordable housing project in Long Island City, New York Observer reporter Colin Campbell asked the mayor if he had any response to those who booed him.

"Look, these are people who are frustrated because they've been dealt a bad hand by God, but I will say there's been an awful lot of very generous people—we've collected something like $55 million from private sources," said the mayor, before interrupting himself to inquire after Campbell's condition.  

"Are you freezing, are you going to be OK?" he asked. "You look like you're gonna die. I'll make sure we have a long answer. Stop me when you get bored."

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He laughed, then he continued.

"We've made enormous progress," he said. "And I understand, people are frustrated. They're not back to where they were. But I think we have to say 'thank you' to those that helped, appreciate what was done, and we'll get a lot done more. We plan to have our beaches open on time. We're gonna rebuild as much as we can as quickly as we can. And I understand the frustration. And if you take it out by booing the mayor, OK, so what. I mean, you know, it was still a nice parade."

Earlier in the proceedings, the mayor told Bloomberg News reporter Henry Goldman that he looked like the abominable snowman.