Just as the dispute between Andrew Cuomo and Mike Bloomberg seemed to be heating up, the New York City mayor threw cold water on the cover artists, headline writers, and reporters everywhere, who were hoping for an all-out budget brawl.
Asked if he felt “had” by Governor Cuomo, after heartily endorsing him in his election bid only to find the city lose out on this round of budget battles, Mayor Bloomberg said, “Why would I feel had? This guy is going to do a good job. I think he will be a great governor.”
“The job is to work with each other and try find some ways where both groups can get as much as possible,” he added. “That’s what democracy is all about. That’s what the governor’s and the mayor’s obligation is–to work collaboratively together. We don’t have an obligation to provide the theater of a big public fight which you can rest assured we are not going to have.”
When pressed on the question, Bloomberg responded: “We are not going to have a public fight. We are not going to provide the theater you want. I am sorry about that.”
At least three times the mayor said that he was “sympathetic” to the governor’s predicament, and he repeatedly said that Cuomo has a “tough job” ahead of him.
Bloomberg is in something of an odd spot with regard to the governor’s cost-cutting moves, since as much as budget reductions will hurt the city, Bloomberg has been advocating for a government that lives within its means, at all levels, for years.
In the instance of this year’s budget, Bloomberg has said that Cuomo can spare the city the worst of the budget knife without costing the state a dime by giving the city relief on Albany mandates.