Updated 07/20/2009 10:04 PM
State Senators Blast Bloomberg Over Radio Remarks
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A war of words over mayoral control of the city schools escalated Monday between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and some Democratic State Senators.
The latest twist came earlier in the day, when four Democratic State Senators met for lunch in the Bronx and assailed the mayor for what they feel are inappropriate attacks against them.
On Friday Bloomberg invoked Neville Chamberlain in explaining why more negotiation to renew mayoral control of schools would be counterproductive.
Chamberlain was the British prime minister who unsuccessfully tried to appease the Nazis in the late 1930s.
"It's a sad comment. It's a comment that says to people like myself and to so many hundreds of thousands of millions of people who lost family in the Holocaust. Even to raise the name of Hitler, in and of itself, should have a public rebuke and is worthy of apology. We're not Hitler. We're legislators," said State Senator Carl Kruger.
The mayor, who is Jewish, said that the critics were reading too much into his comparison.
"You know this is just a tactic for some people who don't seem to want to make progress in our schools and you know, the most amazing thing to me is that in virtually all of these senators it is their districts that have seen remarkable improvements in the opportunities that the kids who live there are going to have because the schools are so much better," Bloomberg said.
During a press conference Monday, Bloomberg responded to NY1's Rita Nissan when asked about the remarks in question.
NY1's Rita Nissan: "Senator Kruger said this morning that your comments about Chamberlain on Friday, they are upset. They feel they are owed an apology. They feel you compared them to Nazis."
Bloomberg: "I certainly did."
The mayor's spokesperson later said the mayor did not hear NY1's question clearly and denied Bloomberg was comparing the senators to Nazis.