Mayor Michael Bloomberg was forced to do some explaining Monday after media magnate Rupert Murdoch reportedly blabbed that Hizzoner called President Barack Obama “arrogant.”
“I never met in my life such an arrogant man,” Bloomberg said of Obama after a golf outing with the president at Martha’s Vineyard in August, Murdoch told an Australian paper in an interview published Friday.
Bloomberg on Monday offered a different take on the matter to reporters.
“I don’t remember the conversation that way,” Bloomberg said, later adding, “I do not think he’s arrogant.”
Bloomberg — who himself has been accused by critics of being arrogant — found that he also had to defend disparaging remarks he made about newly elected Congressional members last week while he was in China attending a climate change conference. The mayor told the Wall Street Journal that the politicians can’t read, don’t have passports and “nobody knows where China is.”
Bloomberg on Monday backtracked on those remarks, explaining that what he meant was that Washington’s leaders “don’t understand the history.”
State Sen.-elect Tony Avella, a Democrat who tried to run for New York City mayor last year, said the mayor is the one acting arrogant.
“Here’s a guy who wouldn’t let Rudy Giuliani stay a couple of months after 9/11, but then when it came time to leave office graciously, he wanted term limits changed,” Avella said.
David Birdsell, a Baruch College pundit, said that while voters last week showed they don’t want elitist elected officials, New Yorkers may have made an exception for Bloomberg.
“In many cases, (Bloomberg) comes off that way, but he hasn’t suffered politically for that,” Birdsell said. “He’s been able to walk the line.”