Mayor Bloomberg waded into the thicket of the attorney general’s race today, praising Republican candidate Dan Donovan as somebody who would be “a spectacular attorney general,” while back-handedly slapping his Democratic opponent, state Senator Eric Schneiderman.
I think [Donovan] would focus on what he needs to do going forward as attorney general, and that is enforce the law, prosecute people when they break the law, and leave being governor to the governor. You always get worried when you have a candidate for attorney general that wants to use that office to enact a social agenda. I don’t think that’s good.
Schneiderman has been running for attorney general as an unabashed progressive who has made social justice a cornerstone of his campaign. He has focused heavily on a woman’s right to choose–Donovan is pro-life–even though there is some dispute about whether or not the abortion issue matters to the attorney general’s office.
Bloomberg was also asked how he could support both Donovan and Andrew Cuomo, considering the differences in temperament between the man who now holds the office and the man who Bloomberg hopes inherits it. Cuomo has been a hyper-charged attorney general who has taken on big fights on Wall Street and against the student loan industry, while Donovan promises a more measured approach.
“I am not a psychiatrist, “Bloomberg said. “Both those guys are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. Dan is very different. Dan is quieter. I assume Dan is a much better golfer than Andrew. I have never heard Andrew talk about playing golf and I play golf with Dan Donovan after the parade on Staten Island on the Fourth of July every year.”
Bloomberg was also asked if the news that Jamie McShane, the communications director for council Speaker (and Bloomberg ally) Christine Quinn, was taking a leave to go work for Schneiderman signalled a rift between the mayor and speaker.
Why does there have to be an enemy, a fight on everything? Why on earth would I care? I think that [Quinn] should vote for Dan Donovan. Hopefully she would. I think Dan Donovan should be the attorney general of the state. I think he’d be one of the best attorneys general we’ve ever had. He’s very serious. He’s done a great job on Staten Island. He’s focused on one thing and that’s making this city safer and he could make this state safer. And if Chris asked me I’d be happy to give her my opinion. She’s never asked me.