City Hall reporters were stunned last year when Mayor Bloomberg suddenly lifted his personal ban on taking questions from gadfly blogger Rafael Martinez Alequin and called on him in a Blue Room press conference.
Since then, the mayor has taken other questions from Rafi, though usually with a look of hesitation on his face since Rafi’s questions can sometimes be on the aggressive side – and sometimes seem a bit out of left field.
That ended Monday, however, when Bloomberg signaled that Rafi had gone too far by comparing Herman Cain’s recent problems with sexual harassment to the Mayor’s history with such complaints.
Bloomberg refused to answer – and vowed to never call on Rafi again.
Here the exchange:
Bloomberg, calling on Rafi: Why am I doing this? I have no idea. It’s sunny out and what the heck.
Rafi: “You’re a wonderful guy, um”
Bloomberg: Thank you. I think that’s the end to that. We’ll go on to next…
Rafi: You’ve been following the Republican debate. What do you have in common with Herman Cain?
Bloomberg: Uh, I don’t know. I haven’t watched any of the debates. I’ve just, I don’t have time at home to do that. My understanding is that he makes thick crust pizza and I like thin crust pizza so we don’t have that in common. After that, I just don’t know what his views are.
Rafi: What about sexual harassment? You both have something in common.
Bloomberg: I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think that’s true and I think that’s the last time.