Monday, September 9, 2013

Gov. Cuomo says Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘racist’ comments about Bill de Blasio were ‘unnecessary and inflammatory’


The New York governor says the race should be focused on more substantive issues, such as education and stop and frisk.

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MAGS OUT, NO SALES

Shawn Dowd/AP

Gov. Cuomo says that it was 'unnecessary and inflammatory' for Mayor Bloomberg to call Bill de Blasio 'racist' for touting his biracial family.

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo on Sunday ripped Mayor Bloomberg's remarks that Bill de Blasio is running a "racist" mayoral campaign as "unnecessary and inflammatory."
Cuomo, at a tailgating event in Buffalo, told reporters that "the comments that were reported clearly are out of line and have no place in our political discourse."
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"There's a lot of important issues that we should be talking about and addressing, especially in the city of New York," he said. "We have education issues; we have the stop and frisk issue, so there are plenty of substantive issues to be discussing without raising unnecessary and inflammatory topics."
Cuomo spoke of New York's reputation for diversity.
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"We believe they are a strength for this city, this state, this nation," he said. "So any words contrary to that really goes against the essence of what New York is all about, that we can all come together and forge one."
It was an unusual public rebuke of the mayor by Cuomo, even when he acknowledged that, "I also know well enough that sometimes what you say isn't exactly what winds up in print or what you meant isn't exactly what winds up in print."
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A Bloomberg spokesman had no comment on Cuomo's remarks, which were first reported by Politico.
Bloomberg was quoted in the most recent New York magazine as saying that while he doesn't believe de Blasio is a racist, he believes it's racist to highlight his bi-racial family in ads and on the stump.
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Cuomo has said throughout the primary season that he will not endorse a mayoral candidate and that he has ties to many of those running.
But Cuomo on Sunday expounded on his longtime friendship with de Blasio, who was his employee when Cuomo served as housing secretary under President Bill Clinton. He said he knows de Blasio's wife and kids.
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"They are a beautiful family," Cuomo said. "Individually each of the members of the family are truly special people and I think he should be very proud of his family, and if I were Bill I would be campaigning with my family the way I campaign with my family," he said.
klovett@nydailynews.com
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