NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Michael Bloomberg singled out City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Friday as the only "rational" Democratic candidate to succeed him — because she's the only one who refuses to criticize his policies, he claimed.
“I will say, you know, the one aspirant that we know of on the Democratic side that really hasn’t engaged in any of this — most of this foolishness — is Quinn," said Bloomberg, speaking during his weekly radio show with WOR's John Gambling.
"She’s much more rational and understands there’s no simple solution to complex problems,” Bloomberg said.
Quinn, a close ally of the mayor, stood out this week as the only major Democratic contender who did not joint the teachers union on the steps of City Hall to call for a moratorium on school closures and co-locations. Quinn has said she would like to reform the policies, but not end them outright.
She was also less critical of Bloomberg than her peers during a candidates' forum Thursday night — though she did acknowledge mistakes when it came to the administration's response to Superstorm Sandy and its management of the New York City Housing Authority.
Bloomberg dismissed that criticism and slammed the other expected candidates, which include Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, his 2009 challenger Bill Thompson and City Comptroller John Liu.
“Number one they have no idea what they’re talking about. Number two, they have no suggestions on what to do. And number three, they just sound ridiculous," he said.
“And what’s more, if you criticize all the people that are doing things, why would anyone want to come and take those jobs again?" he asked.
Quinn has a difficult balancing act to play when it comes to positioning herself vis-à-vis the mayor. While she can benefit from his endorsement, she has also been criticized from the left for not challenging him on a range of issues, including term limits.
While Bloomberg has long been expected to formally endorse Quinn, he has reportedly been on the hunt for another successor, floating the idea to everyone, from Sen. Chuck Schumer to outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.