Bloomberg told Rolling Stone that he was “sorry” about the recalls of two state senators last year over the Democratic state legislature’s gun-control laws, but added that their districts were so “rural” that, “I don’t think there’s roads.”
“In Colorado, we got a law passed. The NRA went after two or three state senators in a part of Colorado where I don’t think there’s roads,” said Bloomberg in the interview published online Wednesday.
“It’s as far rural as you can get,” said Bloomberg. “And, yes, they lost recall elections. I’m sorry for that. We tried to help ‘em. But the bottom line is, the law is on the books, and being enforced. You can get depressed about the progress, but on the other hand, you’re saving a lot of lives.”
That interview is no longer available on the Rolling Stone website, but the Colorado Republican Party discovered the quote about Colorado before it was taken down.
Colorado Republicans were floored by the comments.
“Michael Bloomberg is absolutely out of touch with the values of Pueblo,” said state Sen. George Rivera (R-Pueblo). “In Pueblo, we value our Second Amendment rights and we don’t appreciate East Coast elites stereotyping us as some area so remote that we don’t even have roads.”
Rivera was elected to the state Senate in the Sept. 10 recall election that resulted in the ouster of state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo).
“Pueblo is a proud city composed of proud people from all different walks of life, and, while it might be hard for a New York billionaire to comprehend, we do in fact have roads and running water,” said Rivera in a statement. “I promise the people of Pueblo I will never sit idly by as outsiders insult our outstanding community.”
Bloomberg-funded groups lobbied for the three Colorado gun-control bills, which were passed by the state legislature with no Republican votes and signed into law in March 2013 by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
State Sen. Bernie Herpin (R-Colorado Springs), who replaced Senate President John Morse in the recall, called Bloomberg’s remarks “shameful.”
“Colorado Springs is the second largest city in Colorado, Mr. Mayor,” said Herpin. “and not only do we have plenty of roads, but we are also home to the United States Air Force Academy, the U.S. Olympic Training Center and Committee Headquarters (which moved here from New York City), major military commands, and many high tech and defense related companies.”
Herpin added, “It’s no surprise that Mayor Bloomberg is so out of touch with Coloradans, but it is disgusting the lengths he is willing to go to disparage those who believe in protecting our Second Amendment rights.”
Colorado Democrats had no immediate public comment. Republican Rep. Cory Gardner challenged Democratic Sen. Mark Udall to disavow the comments. Udall and Gardner are running neck and neck in this year’s Senate race.
“Senator Udall and his biggest supporters continue to show what they really think of Coloradans,” Gardner said in a statement. “Does Senator Udall agree with Michael Bloomberg? His continued silence is leaving Coloradans little room to believe otherwise. Instead of listening to his constituents, Senator Udall decided long ago that he prefers to rubber-stamp agendas from his out of state backers and the President — Coloradans are seeing proof of this once again.”