Mike Bloomberg tried to downplay his center-stage role in pushing the City Council to override the Big Apple’s strict term limits and allow him a third run for mayor — insisting it was the lawmakers’ doing.
The eye-popping remark came amid an answer to a question during an MSNBC interview Friday morning about whether he would seek to change the US Constitution to allow for a similar maneuver.
“I will not try to change the Constitution. That’s correct,” the billionaire media mogul said, before adding: “Yes, but keep in mind it was my City Council that did it.”
That account glossed over Bloomberg’s acrimonious 2008 effort to pressure city lawmakers into changing the law.
Bloomberg’s 2009 Democratic rival, city Comptroller Bill Thompson, objected, calling it “a suspension of democracy in New York City.”
Quinnipiac University pollsters found 89 percent of voters wanted a referendum rather than a city council vote.
Bloomberg argued at the time that the Great Recession required steady leadership.
“There are times when you know a job is done, and there are times when you feel you’re in the thick of major changes that still require hard work and careful management and tough accountability,” he said at a City Hall press conference.
Term limits were twice approved by New York residents in the 1990s before Bloomberg persuaded city lawmakers to temporarily scrap them. As mayor, he signed the bill allowing himself a third term.
Bloomberg — seeking to score his first wins in the Democratic presidential primary when 14 states vote on Tuesday — is courting centrist voters to stop the momentum built by Vermont’s self-described socialist US senator, Bernie Sanders.
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