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Bloomberg Gets Testy When Asked Questions About Mayor's Race

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg is growing a bit testy when asked about the race to succeed him at City Hall, a topic he says he's avoiding, even raising the prospect of cutting off news conferences altogether. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

You may breathe easier with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's latest announcement.

"New York has the cleanest air now of any major American city," Bloomberg said.

It's largely because buildings are using cleaner fuel.

"That cleaner air is saving nearly 800 lives a year in our city," Bloomberg said.

That may have been news itself if we were not five-and-a-half weeks from Election Day. Reporters, though, wanted to ask about politics.

"I'm not running, so I don't know how, I don't understand what kind of an answer you expect me to give," Bloomberg said in response to one reporter's question about Bill de Blasio.

It was unclear what journalists were expecting. Bloomberg mostly didn't bite about either candidate.

"I haven't literally, Miss, I have not listened to one campaign speech or seen one ad or watched one debate. I've got to worry about running the city," Bloomberg said in response to another reporter's question about Joseph Lhota.

"Every press conference, all you want to do is ask about things you know I'm not going to say," he added. "I'm not going to bother with the press conferences. There's just no reason to do it."

When a reporter asked, "Why are you so angry at the press corps?" Bloomberg responded, "I'm not. I'm not. It's just there's so many things that are important."

While Bloomberg has generally avoided weighing in on the mayor's race, there have been some notable exceptions. Before the primary, a top deputy said de Blasio would take the city back to the way it was a generation ago: crime-ridden and broke. And in an interview, the mayor accused de Blasio of engaging in class warfare and running a racist campaign for promoting his multi-racial family.

That backfired. De Blasio won the Democrat primary against City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Bloomberg's perceived favorite.

Bloomberg has since said he won't endorse nor comment.

The most he revealed Thursday was when asked about the campaign topic de jour: de Blasio's past sympathies for the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua.

"If you're interested in their past, which, to me, is a lot less important than what they do in the future, you can ask 'em," he said.

Just don't ask Bloomberg.

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