(CNN) – Christine Quinn, New York's leading Democratic mayoral candidate, says she's not going to apologize for her reportedly brazen temper as speaker of the City Council.
"Sometimes you have to push hard to get that done, but my job isn't to make people smile," she said Wednesday on CNN's "Newsroom." "My job is to deliver for New Yorkers."
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Quinn's disposition was profiled in a recent New York Times story, which described the mayoral hopeful as "controlling, temperamental and surprisingly volatile, with a habit of hair-trigger eruptions of unchecked, face-to-face wrath."
According to those interviewed for the report, Quinn has repeatedly threatened to "slice off the private parts of those who cross her" and yells so loudly on the phone that listeners "have to hold their phones away from their ears."
"At times you need to be forceful to get things that are stuck unstuck," she told CNN's Carol Costello. "I have big emotions and I care deeply about delivering for New Yorkers and sometimes that means you got to push things forward–and I think New Yorkers know that. This is a tough town."
Quinn, who joined the City Council in 1999, has gained a reputation for being successful in her post as speaker, a position she's held since 2006. She's now considered the favored Democrat in this year's mayoral race to succeed Michael Bloomberg. Polls also show her ahead in hypothetical match-ups with Republicans.
Other New York mayors have been known to have a temper, as well, including former Republican Rudy Giuliani. Asked if she thought her attitude would be viewed differently if she were a man, Quinn said that didn't matter.
"I'm not a man. I'm a woman," she said. "I'm an aggressive woman who gets things done and that's the way it is, and I've never been embarrassed about the fact that I am pushy."
While Quinn, who was interviewed for the article, didn't shoot down many of the claims in the Times piece, she did take issue with one part of the story on Wednesday. She denied that her office was sound-proofed out of concern that others could hear her yelling at people in her office.
The speaker chalked it up to a "weird echo chamber" effect outside her office that made it difficult to communicate with others.
If Quinn is elected, she'll become New York's first female and first openly gay mayor. In the City Council, she's been a close ally of Bloomberg, who will leave next year after serving three terms. He is expected to endorse Quinn at some point before November's election.
- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.