NBC 4 New York
Mayor Bloomberg threatened to stop having press conferences if reporters keep asking him about the race to succeed him as mayor. Melissa Russo reports.
Mayor Bloomberg declared during a testy exchange with reporters Thursday that the race to succeed him is not interesting and therefore he is not paying any attention to it.
The billionaire mayor, who said this month he had decided not to make an endorsement in the race because it would be a distraction, first grew exasperated with the press about non-campaign questions he was being asked during a news conference Thursday.
He dismissed one topic as a "dumb question" and scolded another reporter that "we're here to have legitimate questions," before growing more irritated when NBC 4 New York's Melissa Russo attempted to get his thoughts on the mayoral race.
"Literally, miss, I have not listened to one campaign speech, or seen one ad or watched one debate," he said. "I've got to worry about running the city, so I don't know what people are saying."
When asked why he isn't paying attention, he said "because I don't find it interesting."
Bloomberg seemed to have forgotten his comments to New York Magazine that accused Democrat Bill de Blasio of running a "racist" campaign because he features his interracial family in campaign ads and on the trail.
When asked Thursday why he gets so worked up about campaign questions, the mayor insisted he wasn't angry. He said the reporters who cover him should know that he doesn't comment on the race, and should stop asking.
"Every press conference, all you want to do is ask about things you know I'm not going to say," he said.
Then, like a parent threatening to stop the car, he went on:
"I'm not going to bother with the press conferences. There's just no reason to do it," he said.
Reporters should "restrict the questions to things that are germane to what our administration is doing," he added.