New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated Tuesday that he “will not tolerate any bias” in the wake of the arrest of the Times Square bombing suspect, who was a U.S. citizen from Pakistan.
Noting that “a few bad apples” exist among all cultural ethnicities, Bloomberg said he would not tolerate a backlash against Muslim Americans following the attempted attack.
However, Bloomberg did a little racial profiling of his own before the arrest when he went on national television and casually speculated about who the suspect might be.
Appearing on Sunday night’s CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Bloomberg said that the bombing attempt “looks like an amateurish job done by at least one person.”
When pressed by Couric, Bloomberg suggested the would-be bomber was a domestic terrorist acting alone, reacting against the passage of healthcare.
“If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that, somebody…”
“A home-grown,” Couric interrupted.
“Home-grown,” Bloomberg affirmed, “maybe a mentally-deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the healthcare bill or something. It could be anything.”
Bloomberg’s comment spurred outrage among conservatives that he would suggest the terrorist suspect to be an anti-Obamacare activist.
“First of all, I think the mayor, or any elected official, when an attempted terrorist attack happens, all elected officials should actually keep somewhat mum about who it may be and who it may not be until the evidence is turned up by the authorities,” said Mike Long, chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State.
Long added, “It’s foolish upon the mayor, or anyone else, to try to pooh-pooh and play down the truth. And the truth is that Islamic terrorists have a target on America’s back.”
Bloomberg recently has made headlines for various other reasons, from his joint initiative with major food companies to cut salt in food to his campaign to shut "Gun Show Loopholes" across the country.
Bloomberg announced a few days ago that major U.S. food companies, like Kraft, Heinz, and Subway, would be cooperating with his National Salt Reduction Initiative to reduce the amount of salt in their food products. The initiative is a branch of a nationwide campaign to cut salt consumption by 20% in 5 years.
The mayor’s health department has already banned trans-fats from city restaurant meals and mandated that calorie counts go up on the menus of chain restaurants in New York City. Smoking in bars and restaurants is forbidden.
Bloomberg’s administration also proposed new rules that would limit the number of art vendors in city parks, saying that the parks have become overcrowded with vendors.
In perhaps his fiercest fight, Bloomberg, as a leader of the coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has promoted the implementation of background checks at gun shows throughout the country. He has done this by asking members of Congress to pass a bill mandating background checks at gun shows, thus closing the “Gun Show Loophole.”
Critics of the bill said it would make it quite difficult for vendors at gun shows to comply with the federal regulations, and that certain provisions of the bill allow the possibility of high fees and complex registration forms that would be imposed on gun show sales.
“The commerce clause—federal government does have the right to regulate things,” Bloomberg said April 20 on CNN. “They already regulate the fact, or require, that you do gun background checks before you buy a gun at gun stores.”
Bloomberg argued that lack of background checks at gun shows in neighboring states have provided people the chance to smuggle illegal guns into New York and sell them on the streets.
“If you make if more difficult, they’re less likely to do it,” he said of criminals procuring guns, “and there’ll be fewer guns in the streets, and your children will be safer, and the police officer that puts his or her life on the line to protect you will be safer.”
“It’s not a surprise to me,” Chairman Long said of Bloomberg’s policies. “He has always championed the ‘nanny state’.”