David Paterson denied that he made derogatory statements about Michael Bloomberg, and specifically that he equated Bloomberg’s temper with Eliot Spitzer’s, both of which Fred Dicker reported in today’s New York Post.
“I didn’t say any of the things I’m accused of saying,” Paterson said during a press conference in the capitol building in Albany, where he also discussed the O.T.B. deal that was negotiated over the weekend. “He and I never had an acrimonious relationship,” Paterson added.
Paterson said he will not demand a retraction because the article attributed the quotes to “a source” and not to the governor directly.
“But you’re quoted as saying something that you’re now telling us you never said,” said Daily News Albany Bureau Chief Ken Lovett (formerly of the Post), after asking why Paterson wasn’t demanding a retraction.
“I’m not saying Fred’s quotes are inaccurate,” Paterson said. “I’m just saying whoever said it to him did not tell him what I actually said.”
Paterson said he spoke with Bloomberg this morning and the mayor “said he did not believe it himself.” Paterson added that he and Bloomberg represented different interests during to O.T.B. negotiations. “So, we had disagreements," Paterson explained, "but he and I never had an acrimonious relationship.”
When asked if he has thought about the prospects of Bloomberg running against in 2010, Paterson said, “I would like to run for re-election myself in 2010, and 2010 is a long way away from this point.”
He added, “Mayor Bloomberg, though, happens to be one individual who’s told me on countless occasions that he’s not running for governor and that he wants to be supportive of me.”