Bloomberg: Don't Blame Palin

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    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has got Sarah Palin’s back - saying she had nothing to do with last weekend’s shooting in Tucson.

    “I don’t think I’d blame Sarah Palin or any other individual,” the billionaire mayor said Thursday.

    “I don’t think any of that (political rhetoric) had anything to do with this, but I don’t know the facts, and who knows what will eventually come out with this man?” he added.

    “This would appear to be a very deranged, perhaps on-drugs individual from what I’ve read,” Bloomberg said of accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner, adding that his prayers went out to the families.

    “And I think we should focus on somebody with a gun that has killed six people. And I think the president put it very well yesterday - the rhetoric should be at a discourse on the facts, and have more civility in it.”

    Bloomberg, an independent, has repeatedly denied that he has any interest in running for president in 2012, although there’s some speculation that he might mount an independent big.

    Bloomberg, who is Jewish, discuss the former vice presidential candidate’s public comments on the shooting, in which she accused journalists and pundits of committing “blood libel” against her. On Wednesday, Bloomberg’s office declined to comment to POLITICO about Palin’s claim.

    Bloomberg, who revels in being a centrist and is a founder of the No Labels campaign, said that people “should be talking to each other more and have more civility.”