After reports that Mayor Bloomberg wants Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for mayor next year, the billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent on Tuesday angrily denied the notion that he is unhappy with the current field of candidates.
Mayor on Successor: "I Don't Know Who's Going to Run"
One year from now, Mayor Bloomberg will be wrapping up his time at City Hall and a new mayor-elect will be getting ready to take the oath of office. The mayor responded Tuesday to reports that he tried to recruit Hillary Clinton to run for the top city job. Andrew Siff reports.
Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 Updated at 11:07 AM EDT
Bloomberg appeared at a news conference for an unrelated Hudson Yards event with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is one of several Democrats raising money for a citywide campaign.
The mayor was asked if he is not satisfied with the field of challengers and snapped that he wasn't going to be dragged into answering.
"I don't know who's going to run, but if you want to start a fight between me and Chris Quinn, you're not going to do it. It's cheap, lousy journalism," he said. "This is a woman who's made a big difference in this city."
The New York Times, citing three anonymous sources, reported late Monday that Clinton made clear during a call with Bloomberg "some months ago" that she was not interested in the job.
The State Department declined to comment on the Times report to NBC News on Tuesday, saying it did not discuss Clinton's private conversations.
Quinn, for her part, was also asked about the idea of Clinton running for mayor, and gave a hearty endorsement of the former senator's abilities.
"I think Hillary Clinton would excel in any position she ever takes. And why do I say that? Because she has," Quinn said. "I don't think there is anything Hillary Clinton would put her mind to that she wouldn't do extremely, extremely well, better than maybe anybody else who's ever done it."