Bloomberg Offers No Defense of Giuliani Comments

For the second-straight day, Michael Bloomberg declined to disavow what critics say were racially coded comments made by Rudy Giuliani, who warned an audience of Jews in Brooklyn that crime could rise if the mayor wasn’t re-elected.

While at the ferry terminal in Lower Manhattan to receive the endorsement of Democratic Representative Mike McMahon, Bloomberg was asked if critics had “misinterpreted what he was saying.”

“I don’t know,” said Bloomberg. “I’ve got to work on trying to bring people together, which is what I’ve tried to do, and continue the progress that we’ve made in this city.”

When I asked McMahon at the event if he agreed with Giuliani’s statement, McMahon only said that Bloomberg’s administration has “done an incredible job” on fighting crime. Bloomberg did not seek to answer the question.

After the event, I asked McMahon the question again. McMahon sough to put some distance between Bloomberg and Giuliani’s comments.

“The feeling that came out of that does not speak to this man’s record at all,” McMahon said.

In a conversation after the event, I mentioned to Bloomberg campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson that Bloomberg had again deflected questions about Giuliani’s comments by speaking only about his own record.

Wolfson suggested that Bloomberg would stand pat.

“People know what his record is, people know what he stands for,” Wolfson said.