Mayor Bloomberg, who often rails against partisan bickering, said the heated rhetoric of Republicans like Sarah Palin are not to blame for the deadly shooting in Arizona.
“I don’t think I blame Sarah Palin or any other individual,” Bloomberg said Thursday. “[The] president’s right about we should be talking to each other more and have more civility. I don’t think any of that had anything to do with this.”
Palin drew the ire of critics for fanning the flames of heated rhetoric ahead of the shooting that killed six and wounded 14 others by peppering her speeches with gun imagery and releasing a map with what appeared to be a cross-hair symbol over Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district.
The mayor, who is head of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, instead said the focus should be on the suspect in the shooting, Jared Lee Loughner.
“This would appear to be a very deranged, perhaps on-drugs individual from what I’ve read,” he said. “And I think we should focus on somebody with a gun that has killed six people. And I think the president put it very well yesterday—the rhetoric should be at a discourse on the facts and have more civility in it.”
Doctors said Giffords has markedly improved since she was first hospitalized after being shot in the head on Saturday.