Bloomberg Pans Schneiderman
Mayor Bloomberg stepped up his criticism of Democratic AG candidate Eric Schneiderman this morning, saying the “activist” approach he’s pledging to bring to the state’s top law office is inappropriate and would be “disruptive” to the governor.
“That’s for a governor to do, and it’s very disruptive for a governor if the attorney general is out there trying to undercut him and run for president.”
The mayor then quickly amended his comments, saying the Manhattan senator clearly isn’t gunning for the White House (at least not now), but perhaps should consider seeking another office with the platform he’s espousing.
“If he wants to push a social agenda, he should run for governor,” Bloomberg said of Scheiderman. “And who knows? Maybe I’d support him.”
Schneiderman said on numerous occasions during the Democratic AG primary that he isn’t interested in using the office he’s seeking as a springboard for something bigger the way both Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo have done.
(The joke around Albany is that “AG” is now short for “aspiring governor,” thanks to the efforts of the man who currently holds that title and his predecessor).
Cuomo declined to play favorites during the five-way AG primary, but made it clear he would prefer to see someone other than either of the state legislators in the race – Schneiderman and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky – win on Sept. 14.
However, thanks in no small part to the support of labor unions like HTC, 1199 and 32BJ, Schneiderman managed to defeat his closest competitor, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, by two percentage points, with Sean Coffey finishing a distant third.
It’s interesting to see Bloomberg carrying Cuomo’s water here, particularly since the two men only recently forged their relationship.
The mayor has split the baby on his statewide endorsements, backing Cuomo and two Republicans: Harry Wilson (for state comptroller) and Staten Island DA Dan Donovan (for AG).
Bloomberg this morning called Wilson “very qualified,” although he also said he believes state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is a “very nice guy,” adding: “I called him and told him I think it’s time for a change in all the top people.”
The mayor once said he would only choose sides in one statewide race (the AG contest), but has since gone back on that, weighing in on all three. Asked why he has decided to get so involved, particularly in the governor’s race, Bloomberg replied:
“You know, it’s the same reason that you see this enormous protest vote against all incumbents. The country’s in trouble. Our state is in trouble. You can’t sit back, and I think that Cuomo will…he’s a tough guy, which is what you want, but he’s got the common sense to work with the Legislature.”
“And in this state, if you can’t work with the Legislature, you’re not going to make any progress, it’s just the democracy that we have.”
Bloomberg said he does believe it’s possible to reform Albany, but cautioned: “You are not going to do it in a revolutionary way; at best, you can do it in an evolutionary way.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on September 24, 2010 at 9:17 am, and is filed under 2010 Gov Race, Albany, Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General, Dan Donovan, Democrats, Eric Schneiderman, Michael Bloomberg. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|