BROOKLYN, New York (CNN) – Introducing John McCain before his economic speech and roundtable in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the Arizona senator for showing him the ropes when he ran for mayor in 2001 - and credited his victory to the presumptive Republican nominee.
“I got elected because of you,” Bloomberg told McCain. “So if the people of New York are happy, they should say thank you to you.”
The mayor joked that his “good friend” burned ribs on the barbecue during a visit to McCain’s ranch in Arizona, though, “I will say it’s relatively small to be called a ranch.”
The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent mayor showered McCain with compliments. “No matter what your political affiliation or your views are, [McCain] really deserves to have the term hero attached to his name,” said Bloomberg, calling the senator “nothing if not forthright.”
Bloomberg did make it known what he expected of McCain: “the measure I think we ought to apply in judging candidates is are they candid? Do they offer concrete solutions to our most difficult problems? And that’s what we’ll be looking for today.”
Without pointing to any one candidate, Bloomberg argued, “we need strong leadership, we needed it after 9/11 and I think we need it even more today than ever before.”