NEW YORK -- While mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg sent his police force after guns on the streets, launched sting operations against gun shows, and pumped millions of dollars of his own money into defeating gun control opponents at the polls.
His name is now uttered as a curse on right-wing talk radio. But Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio told HuffPost in an interview Friday that Bloomberg's laudable approach on gun control was ultimately hampered by his politics.
"I think he's been right on gun control, right on immigration reform and right on climate change. I think in several cases there was a sort of incompleteness to the approach," de Blasio said.
"I think on gun control we have to go after the money supply to manufacturers of guns and ammunition," he said, suggesting cutting off public pension investments to those companies so they can't "fund the industry that then turns around and funds the NRA."
De Blasio, the current public advocate, supported that divestment approach as a trustee of the city's pension fund. The mayor's office objected, stating that politics and pension planning shouldn't mix, but ultimately lost the argument.
"We can implicitly say that is not the approach Michael Bloomberg likes to take, because he's a free-marketeer," de Blasio said. "He does not like to see government interfere in that fashion. So amen for what he did on gun control. I think we should go the next step."
Marc Lavorgna, a city spokesman, said the mayor's office was "not commenting on candidate proposals."