New York voters got a closer look at the top two candidates for the office of New York Mayor as incumbent Michael Bloomberg squared off against Comptroller William Thompson in their first of two debates.
Bloomberg made his case to take leadership of the city for the next four years while his challenger, Thompson, said “eight is enough,” referring to his opponent’s desire to run the city for his third four-year term.
Among the first topics discussed was Thompson’s role as president of the city’s Board of Education from 1996 to 2001. Bloomberg derided his opponent’s work at the time, saying the schools were much worse then.
“You don’t get a medal for rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, and that’s exactly what he did,” Bloomberg said, during the televised debate held at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem.
Earlier, Thompson said Bloomberg had previously promised not to overturn term limits, accusing the Mayor of lying to the people of New York.
In a “yes” or “no” answer segment of the debate, Bloomberg said former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani would make a good governor of the state, while Thompson said no.
On the issue of police “stop and frisk” searches, Thompson he said he supported searches but said they had been overused. Bloomberg called the procedure as an “effective tool” to reduce crime.
Meanwhile, Thompson said his time as comptroller was marked by integrity, adding that it was shameful that Bloomberg would suggest that pension business had been turned over to investment firms in return for their support.