Wednesday, July 6th 2011, 4:00 AM
The mayor appeared with execs from the retail giant at a news conference to announce Walmart's $4 million contribution to the city's summer youth employment program.
The gift will save up to 3,400 jobs that would otherwise have been lost to budget cuts.
When reporters tried to ask a Walmart rep if the money was related to the company's effort to open its first city store about two miles from the announcement at the Brownsville Recreation Center, Bloomberg intervened.
"Walmart is a good corporate citizen," he said. "I don't see how you do your company's philanthropy without saying that it's connected to everything."
Reporters tried again to ask a Walmart rep, but a testy Bloomberg repeatedly blocked the question.
"I answered it for you," he said. "We've had enough because we're here to talk about summer youth. We're here to talk about jobs."
"We have lots and lots of customers, suppliers, associates and foundation partners throughout the five boroughs."
Critics said Bloomberg - whose budget this year slashed funding for summer youth programs - had no business speaking for Walmart.
"There's a billionaire company and the mayor is a billionaire so they come in with some cheap petty cash to pump Walmart as a good corporation," Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron said.
Bloomberg has long been a supporter of Walmart's effort to open a store in the city despite opposition from Council members and advocates who object to the store's business and labor practices.