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De Blasio rebukes Biden 'Third World' slap at LaGuardia

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Feb.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Feb. 7, 2014. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio rebuked Vice President Joe Biden Friday for likening LaGuardia Airport to a facility in "some Third World country," saying it was "not his finest moment."

"I respect the vice president, but I think his comments were inappropriate," de Blasio said when asked about Biden's remarks during a City Hall news conference.

"LaGuardia, obviously, needs an upgrade, but that being said, the airport manages an extraordinary amount of traffic, and the people who work there make it work under very difficult circumstances," de Blasio said. "And so as a proud New Yorker, I didn't like that comment, and I think it was not the right way to talk about it."

Biden's assessment of LaGuardia came during an event in Philadelphia Thursday at which the vice president was discussing the need for infrastructure improvements around the nation.

A Biden spokeswoman, Kingsley Trotter, said she had no comment on de Blasio's criticism of the vice president, who is a fellow Democrat.

Last month, in his state of the state address, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said, "LaGuardia Airport is ranked as the worst airport in America." Cuomo called it "a disgrace" and "unacceptable" and pledged "it is going to change." Among the steps he announced was taking over responsibility from the Port Authority for construction that's part of a modernization program.

With Tom Brune


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