WASHINGTON — After some combative testimony before a House Judiciary subcommittee today on Capitol Hill, Mayor Bloomberg was in a testy mood when he met with reporters.
“I thought what you saw is exactly the problem,” the mayor said in his introductory remarks. “Congress is unwilling to do anything and then blames everybody for nothing happening.”
“It may sound counterintuitive, but there’s no rational basis on saying that if you have too many immigrants, you don’t have enough jobs for Americans,” he said. “It’s exactly the reverse. Look at New York City, it’s a good example. Our economy is doing better than the rest of the country and it’s because of our immigrant community.”
The first question from the press didn’t help his mood.
“Huh?” he said, in response to a Daily News reporter, who asked about this morning’s report that the city will have to change its street signs to conform to federal regulations. “I can tell you that there are lots of questions that I’m capable of asking and a lot of things that we should be spending our time on but that does to me sound like–given the problems we’re facing in this country-the most ridiculous question that I’ve been presented with in 9 years. Does anybody else have a question?”
When the reporter tried to follow-up, the mayor went on:
“I have no idea what you’re talking about and I have nothing to do with it. What on earth? You really think that is more important than immigration reform, than the fact our school systems are falling apart, that there are guns in the streets? Come on.”
The mayor said he wasn’t the only one lashing out.
“The Tea Party is just two words to describe a dissatisfaction in this country with what is going on, under Republican and Democratic administrations,” he warned. “The public is frustrated and they’re lashing out and they’re going to lash out on both sides of the aisle.”
After the event, Bloomberg was still muttering about the first question as walked out with Congressman Anthony Weiner, who had watched the press conference from the side. Before ducking into his waiting SUV, the mayor asked the Daily News reporter what his question was all about. After it was explained to him, the mayor said he hadn’t been able to find a copy of the Daily News that morning.