When Michael Bloomberg received the endorsement of a union representing stage workers in Manhattan yesterday, he said the issue of whether or not he’ll debate his Democratic opponents is just a “distraction” right now. He also disputed the notion he’s facing any criticism over his lavish campaign spending, other than from “some reporters want to create dissension.”
Here is a transcript of Bloomberg answering campaign questions, which was provided by his campaign.
Reporter: With the campaign getting underway and all the endorsements coming, there are going to be some debates. Have you decided whether you’re going to take part in them? You took part last time around in two debates-
Mayor: Well we’ll see after the other- after the Democratic party picks a candidate then the campaign will talk about it. Until then I think it’s just a distraction. The real competition is between Democratic candidates, and there’s at least two and we’ll see what happens with them. Sir?
Reporter: You’ve come under criticism for your spending. Is there an amount you wouldn’t spend?
Mayor: You know, I don’t know where I’ve come under criticism for my spending other than some reporters want to create dissention. Bottom line is I’m not doing anything I didn’t do eight years ago or four years ago. I’m not taking special interest money. I’m not asking anybody for favors where I’m going to have an obligation to pay them back later on. I’m spending money that I made myself to get the message out. And what I’m focusing on right now is trying to talk about what we’re doing in this city for this economy. People are getting hurt. They’re losing their jobs, they’re missing mortgage payments, they’re trying to worry about health when they don’t have any health insurance. Those are the things that the public cares about. And it costs a lot of money to get your message out of what you’re going, and I’m going to spend my money and do it. I think it’s something I’m proud to do. Yes sir?