Bloomberg: Praise of Foe Just "Polite"

What would you expect him to say?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Bloomberg says he was just being nice when he complimented Thompson a few years back. Sure ...

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he was just being "polite'' when he once said his Democratic opponent might be the best comptroller New York City has ever had.

         The billionaire mayor was asked today about the compliment he gave William Thompson Jr. in 2007, long before they were political opponents.
        
    Bloomberg praised Thompson during a commencement speech at Tufts University, Thompson's alma mater.
        
    The mayor now says he was just being polite. He says it was a commencement speech -- what would you expect him to say?
        
    Thompson has used a clip of Bloomberg's comment in a television ad.
        
    Meanwhile, Bloomberg is promising he'll get rid of a number of commissioners, including ones he considers successful, if he gets elected to a third time.

    The billionaire former CEO said elected officials who win third terms try too often to do the same thing with the same people.
        
    Bloomberg would not say who is likely to get the ax, but said replacing 15 out of 40 commissioners is not unreasonable. Some of those might include spots that have already turned over in the last year.
       
    The mayor is a former Republican who is not a member of any party. He is running on the Republican and Independent Party lines.