Mayor Bloomberg may have privately urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for mayor of New York City, according to a source, but in public, he is praising someone else entirely: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Looks like there are no hard feelings after all. At least, that seemed to be the public message from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn after it was revealed that the mayor encouraged Hillary Clinton to jump into the mayor's race.
"I don't know who's going to run, but if you want to start a fight between me and Chris Quinn, you're not going to do it," the mayor said. "That is cheap, lousy journalism. This is a woman who's made a big difference."
A source told NY1 that the mayor reached out to Clinton to ask her to consider running for mayor next year. The source said Clinton declined. The mayor did not deny the conversation, but he did not want to talk about it either.
"Why do you think I encouraged Hillary Clinton to run for mayor?" he said. "I mean, did you hear me say that?"
As for Quinn, she had nothing but praise for the Secretary of State.
"You know, I think Hillary Clinton would excel in any position she ever takes," Quinn said.
Mayor Bloomberg, though, wanted to keep the focus on the Speaker at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Hudson Yards project.
"This woman has made an enormous difference in this city," Bloomberg said. "She is a leader and I have nothing but respect for her."
The two have a close-working relationship, and Quinn has long been viewed as the mayor's favorite among those eyeing a run for City Hall. His apparent interest in Clinton, though, was seen as a sign that he is dissatisfied with the field and looking for another candidate to support. But he seemed to be trying to undercut such talk Tuesday.
"This administration, I think, has been phenomenally successful. I take great pride in it," he said. "Would not have happened without Chris Quinn."
Quinn even played along with the mayor as he joked about running for a fourth term.
Speaker Quinn has not yet officially declared her candidacy for mayor, but she is raising money for a citywide office and she is widely expected to make a bid for City Hall.