- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 10, 2014

DENVER | Colorado Springs and Pueblo may not be Paris or London, but they are not quite the rural backwaters that anti-gun activist Michael Bloomberg apparently thinks they are.

The former New York City mayor said he was “sorry” about the recalls of two Democratic state senators last year over the state legislature’s passage of gun control laws, but said the districts in the recall races 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 Mr. Bloomberg in the interview with Rolling Stone published online this week.

“It’s as far rural as you can get,” said Mr. 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, “Michael Bloomberg Isn’t Afraid of the NRA,” has since been removed from the Rolling Stone website, but the Colorado Republican Party discovered the quote before it was taken down.

Lawmakers representing Colorado Springs and Pueblo were stunned by the comments.

“Michael Bloomberg is absolutely out of touch with the values of Pueblo,” said Republican state Sen. George Rivera of 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.”

Mr. Rivera was elected to the state Senate in the Sept. 10 recall election that resulted in the ouster of Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron.

“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 Mr. 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 signed into law in March 2013 by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Republican state Sen. Bernie Herpin, who replaced Democratic Senate President John Morse in the recall, pointed out that Colorado Springs is the second largest city in Colorado and home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Olympic Training Center.

“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,” said Mr. Herpin.

The Bloomberg comment promptly became fodder in Colorado’s tight Senate race. The former New York mayor donated $2.5 million last year to the Senate Majority PAC, which supports, among others, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s challenging Mr. Udall, called on the senator to disavow the comment, adding that “Senator Udall and his biggest supporters continue to show what they really think of Coloradans.”

Shortly thereafter, Udall spokesman James Owens released a statement to KDVR-TV denouncing the Bloomberg quote.

“Mayor Bloomberg is way off base about Pueblo and Colorado Springs, two of Colorado’s strongest and proudest communities,” said Mr. Owens.

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