Gov. Andrew Cuomo understands why the United Federation of Teachers is more than a bit offended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s comparison of their group’s leadership to being that of the National Rifle Association, even if he doens’t expect the mayor’s comments to scuttle talks over local critiera for teacher evaluations.

But Cuomo wouldn’t insert himself into the spat, sparked last week when Bloomberg said the UFT’s leadership was analogus to that of the NRA when it comes to being out of sync with their respective membership.

The comment, made on the radio Friday morning by Bloomberg, sparked an immediate backlash from UFT President Michael Mulgrew, an ally of the governor’s.

 “I don’t know the context in which he said it,” Cuomo said. “I know the teachers union is very upset about it and I can understand why. It’s not their position on guns, especially at this time. But I don’t know the context. Context is everything.”

The city and the union have until Jan. 17 to agree to a teacher evaluation plan or risk losing a 4 percent boost in state aide. Cuomo said today in Albany that he expects a deal to be reached due to the 4 percent incentive.

It’s also unlikely that the rhetoric between the two sides — includnig an advertising campaign from the UFT — would end the negotiations, Cuomo said.

“It’s too important an issue for either side to let one comment make a difference,” he said. “I’ve worked with Mike Bloomberg. I know he’s much too level headed to let one comment or one advertisement stop him from doing what’s intelligent or what’s right for his city. I know Mike Mulgrew and I would say the same thing about him.”