Bloomberg tells Obama not to visit New York

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) said President Obama offered to visit the city in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but Bloomberg told him that everyone has “lots of things to do” instead.

Bloomberg said he didn’t want to “diss” Obama and was flattered by the offer. Obama is scheduled to visit New Jersey on Wednesday, where the hurricane made landfall. The mayor said that trip would represent the whole region.

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“What I pointed out to them is we would love to have him, but we have lots of things to do,” Bloomberg said at a press conference. “I’m not trying to diss him. But I know he had planned a trip to New Jersey, and I said that is fine. It represents the whole region. ... He has got a lot of things to do, and I was flattered that he offered to come.”

Bloomberg didn’t say whether he thought the storm was a result of man-made global warming, but said there is no doubt the climate is changing and the city could learn from the storm.

“Is this — a storm like this that is so strong and so unusual — a global warming incident? I think what is clear is the climate is changing, nobody knows if it is a [cyclical] or secular thing. I think each of these storms we have to learn to see if we can do some things better the next time,” Bloomberg said.

Echoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Bloomberg called the administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) very helpful throughout the storm.

“There was a lot of criticism of FEMA from the [Hurricane] Katrina days, and today you hear nothing but good things about FEMA. They certainly have been very helpful to us,” he said.

The death toll in New York had reached 18 as of Tuesday night, and flooding throughout the city has stalled mass transit.

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