Mayor Michael Bloomberg refused several times Monday to elaborate on his recent comment labeling Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's mayoral campaign "racist."
"Look, I'm going to stay out of this race," Bloomberg responded when asked about the comment, published in a New York Magazine interview nine days ago.
"As you know, I said I'm not going to endorse anybody. You'll have to talk to the pundits. What I'm here to do is to talk about what we've done, and I'm going to leave it at that," Bloomberg said, referring to the education milestone he was touting at the East Harlem event.
Twenty-two New York City schools, including the one Bloomberg spoke at, were ranked in the top 25 statewide as measured by tougher Common Core exam standards.
But determined reporters continued to press the mayor, asking him to elaborate. In response, Bloomberg repeated that he wasn't going to endorse anyone and wondered what reporters didn't understand about that.
One reporter noted that Bloomberg had already inserted himself into the race by making the comment, which the mayor shrugged off.
Bloomberg further said his decision not to endorse wasn't because he felt his support would hurt his preferred candidate.
"I think what the public wants me to do is to work as hard as I can for the next 106 days," Bloomberg said.
He also said that the positive changes during his administration were "not just touchy-feely," though many candidates, like de Blasio, have campaigned on a platform of changing the city.
"Look, we have worked as hard as we can for 12 years," he said. "The results are out there."
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