June 20, 2008

Bloomberg Urges Jews to Ignore Obama Rumor

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday condemned false rumors that Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Speaking to Jewish voters in Boca Raton, Fla., Bloomberg said people should reject the whisper campaign against the Illinois senator, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported.

He called Obama's Republican opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, a stand-up guy for denouncing the rumors. Obama has said he is a Christian.

Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, told those gathered at the Jewish Federation of South Florida that Jewish voters have been the targets of demagogues attempting to exploit political differences between Jews and Muslims.

We cannot be pawns in that process, said Bloomberg, who owns financial news provider Bloomberg L.P.

He told the 200 gathered that he is not sure who he will support in November.

When asked about serving the next president, either as a Cabinet member or as his vice presidential running mate, Bloomberg brushed aside the possibility of being asked.

In terms of a position in Washington, I have not worked for anybody for 27 years. I'm a little bit old to start at this point, Bloomberg said. Nobody's going to call somebody they can't control. That's just the real world.