Ed Koch on the Bloomberg-Paterson Dust-Up: Meh


These things happen. No need to deny it.

That’s the word from former Mayor Ed Koch on the imbroglio between Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson. After New York Post‘s Fred Dicker reported on Monday that the newly-minted governor had a number of choice words for Bloomberg, Paterson issued a rather tortured denial in an effort to play nice.

He should have just admitted what he said and moved on, said Koch this morning at a ribbon cutting in the South Bronx.

“I believe Fred Dicker was accurate in reporting the governor’s remarks,” said Koch. “It would have been better if the governor had simply said, ‘Listen, I said it in a fit of anger, I was wrong, and I apologize,’ rather than to deny they ever heard it.”

Is this what happens between governors and mayors?

“Yeah, sure. Between normal human beings,” said Koch. “Occasionally, you say things you later regret. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Koch also expressed an interest in Bloomberg potentially replacing Paterson in 2010, though he was quick to note that Bloomberg has denied interest in heading to Albany. While Koch would not flat-out endorse Bloomberg for governor, he heaped lots of praise on the mayor.

“I’d consider all of them,” said Koch. “But I have an especially high regard for Mayor Bloomberg. I think he’s been an extraordinary mayor, and deserves a lot of credit for New York’s rise in every single area so that we’re once again the international capitol of the world.”

As clear as Koch may be on a potential next governor he does not have any preference for president, though he was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and has expressed serious doubts that Barack Obama would ever triumph in a general election. He supported Bush in 2004, does that mean he’ll support John McCain in 2008? Koch won’t say, and will wait until after Labor Day to make his official endorsement.

“I could [support McCain]. And I certainly could potentially support Obama,” said Koch. “I’m open minded. I want to hear what they have to say and decide, in my mind, who is best to protect America.”