During what he called a “pleasant chit chat” with George Bush at JFK this morning, Mayor Bloomberg thanked the president for supporting a risk-based allocation of Homeland Security funds even as he criticized partisan politics in Congress for cutting the flow of money to the city.
Bloomberg told Bush that he “appreciated his focus on distributing money, his public position on distributing Homeland Security money, based on threat and threat alone. And I was disappointed that Congress hasn’t done that,” he said. He also blamed politics, “not a rational analysis,” for the cut in funding to New York.
The mayor, who did not appear with Bush on a number of previous visits to New York, had an interesting explanation for his decision to appear with the president this time: it would have been impolite not to.
“I think the President of the United States deserves the respect of the office, whether you agree with him or not,” said Bloomberg at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new Juniors restaurant in midtown. “I also thought this time, he has gone through a rough period.”
“We are polite, we will be nice to everybody,” Bloomberg added. “I have a responsibility to say what I believe. I also have a responsibility to represent this city in terms of politeness.”
– Jason Horowitz