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NYT: In Britain, Bloomberg Turns Up Criticism of U.S. Conservatives

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  • Ram Lau
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/01/nyregion/01mayor.html October 1, 2007 In Britain, Bloomberg Turns Up Criticism of U.S. Conservatives By DIANE CARDWELL
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2007
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      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/01/nyregion/01mayor.html
      October 1, 2007
      In Britain, Bloomberg Turns Up Criticism of U.S. Conservatives
      By DIANE CARDWELL

      BLACKPOOL, England, Sept. 30 — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has
      been more openly criticizing President Bush's policies in recent
      months, lashed out on Sunday at American conservatives who he said
      engaged in the "lunacy" of creating deficits for future generations to
      pay.

      Portraying himself as a fiscal conservative despite having increased
      spending more than any other New York mayor in almost 30 years, Mr.
      Bloomberg sought to define his own political ideology, telling
      delegates at the Conservative Party conference here that the key to
      success was balancing budgets, avoiding deficits, delivering services
      more efficiently and staying away from politics.

      "The Conservative Party in the U.K. is much more fiscally conservative
      than many American politicians who call themselves conservative," he
      told the crowd at a ballroom at the Winter Gardens. "Too many of our
      conservatives in the United States want to run up enormous deficits
      and hope that some way, somehow, someone else will pay for it. That's
      not conservatism, that's alchemy at best, or if you like, lunacy."

      The president, Mr. Bloomberg said after the speech, has, "I think,
      never vetoed a budget." He added, "On the other hand, Congress has
      passed a lot of very big budgets that we can't afford."

      Mr. Bloomberg has often been criticized by right-leaning policy
      experts for increasing spending and raising taxes during his
      administration. But in laying out his theory of good government, he
      defended his fiscal record, arguing that tax increases were sometimes
      necessary and that he had been prudent with the city's money, saving
      surplus revenue for future costs like employee health care.

      At the same time, Mr. Bloomberg said, it was important to spend money
      to improve quality of life and to create the conditions that attract
      private-sector investments to diversify and boost the economy.

      Mr. Bloomberg has been intensifying his criticism of the Bush
      administration, mainly for what he calls a go-it-alone approach to the
      Iraq war that he says has severely damaged the United States'
      reputation abroad.

      A White House spokesman, Blair Jones, said on Sunday that the
      president had threatened vetoes on spending bills, but did not have to
      use them when "he had the cooperation of a Republican Congress to hold
      the line on spending."

      In the last three years, "the deficit has declined $200 billion and
      we're on a path to balance the budget within five years," Mr. Jones
      said. "We're accomplishing all this while keeping taxes low and
      protecting our nation."

      Mr. Bloomberg appeared at this downtrodden seaside resort at the
      invitation of David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, and
      the mayor's remarks went over well, including several jokes. "In
      preparing for this speech, my biggest dilemma was not what to say, but
      what to wear," Mr. Bloomberg said near the start, adding that he
      decided to go with "a conservative blue suit, appropriately enough."
      He added: "I decided to leave my pink suit home just in case I'm ever
      invited to No. 10," a reference to the media stir Margaret Thatcher
      created on a visit to the prime minister, Gordon Brown, at 10 Downing
      Street. She wore pink, which was seen as too close to the Labor Party
      red rather than the Conservative Party blue.

      Mr. Bloomberg's presence, part of a four-day swing through France and
      England, fueled interest in his presidential aspirations, which he
      denied having, as usual.
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