Howard Wolfson, the deputy mayor of communications for Michael Bloomberg, slammed those who aspire to take his boss’ job over comments they made yesterday critical of the midnight right on Zuccotti Park.
“I was shocked at the statements put out by many of those who say they are going to be running for mayor,” Mr. Wolfson said. “The central issue before this mayor at this time was whether or not the tenting and tarping and camping can continue at Zuccotti Park. And not a single statement by any of the mayoral aspirants addressed that central issue. They all ducked the central issue before this mayor and this city yesterday and I would ask you and I would love to put the question to them directly—do you believe that the tenting and tarping should have continued in Zuccotti Park or do you think that it should have been stopped?”
Mr. Wolfson’s introduction to city politics was in 2009 when he served as chief spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg in his re-election campaign against Bill Thompson. Mr. Bloomberg is not, as far as we know, running for a fourth term, but Mr. Wolfson sounded like he was competing against any of the five or so candidates jockeying for the Democratic nomination in 2013.
“That was the central question– not whether the action should have taken place at 1 o’clock in the morning or three o’clock in the morning,” he continued. “Not any other questions other than was the city going to step in and act in the interest of public safety and stop the tenting in the park. I think it was a tremendous duck on the part of people running for mayor not to answer that central question. And frankly I would suggest anyone running for mayor ought or have a position on this issue, they ought to make it clear to the people of this city.”
Later, Mr. Wolfson referred to statements made by Bill de Blasio–who suggested that the mayor “let this play out” and by John Liu who said that the raid was like the shock and awe tactics displayed in Iraq, as well as to Scott Stringer, who compared the raid to Tiananmen Square.
“If you are in favor of ending the tenting and the tarping in the interest of public safety you ought to be wiling to say ‘that and if you think that is fine as one of the mayoral aspirants said ‘to let this play out’ and keep the tenting and the tarping there you should have been wiling to step up and say that. That’s what it means to run for mayor,” Mr. Wolfson said, adding, “I was shocked yesterday to see someone who is running for mayor to compare this to Tiananmen where hundreds of people were killed by soldiers– that is an insult to the NYPD and the professionalism that they have demonstrated. I saw someone today compare it to the Iraq War where hundreds of thousands of people were killed, that is an insult to the men and women of the NYPD who carried this out professionally. That kind of rhetoric is so overblown and so outrageous and so indicative of people who are not squaring up with …the central question which was whether or not we were going to allow a dangerous situation to continue.”
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