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Bloomberg Blasts Reporter Over Term Limits Query

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Mayor Bloomberg lashed out at a reporter at a press conference Thursday, calling him a disgrace for asking a question about term limits. NY1's Molly Kroon filed the following report.

The mayor's temper was in full view Thursday, as he blasted a reporter for asking him if an improving economy takes away one of his reasons for overturning term limits.

"I don't know where you get, why don't you just ask serious questions here. The rationale for extending term limits was the City Council passed it and the public's going to have a chance on November third to say what they want and I don't think we have to keep coming back to that," said Bloomberg.

The mayor later went back to the topic, just as he was leaving the podium, calling reporter Azi Paybarah of the New York Observer a "disgrace."

The incident occurred at an event announcing federal stimulus funds to help retrain out of work New Yorkers.

The mayor says he's optimistic about the city's fiscal outlook. That's a sea change from last October when he pushed for ending term limits, saying the city needed his business expertise with the economy in a tailspin.

This isn't the first time the mayor lost his temper with a reporter this year. Back in April, Bloomberg lost his cool when a disabled journalist had trouble turning off a tape recorder that accidentally went off.

The mayor later met with the reporter and said he was sorry if he offended him.

A spokesperson for Bloomberg called Paybarah late Thursday afternoon to apologize on the mayor's behalf.

The political editor of the New York Observer, Josh Benson, said, "It was an interesting response to a reasonable question."

As critics say the billionaire mayor is prepared to spend whatever it takes to drown out other candidates messages in the mayoral race, at times it appears Bloomberg may be his own biggest obstacle to winning re-election.

Democratic mayoral candidate William Thompson Jr. says he's not surprised by the mayor's outburst.

"It's an attempt to try to prevent an honest discussion about the future of New York City and the issues that face New Yorkers each and every day. I'm not surprised that he'd be irritated by it, because it's the truth," said Thompson.

With five months to go before election day, Thompson's certainly hoping Bloomberg will hand over free ammunition like this to his campaign.

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