Mayor Thomas M. Menino is scrambling to explain his declaration that he would “blow up” struggling Detroit to fix its problems as his Motor City counterpart condemned his put-down.
Menino’s comments in a New York Times interview brought a swift, strongly worded response from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
“I would think the mayor of a city that recently experienced a deadly bombing attack would be more sensitive and not use the phrase ‘blow up,’ ” Bing said in a statement.
In the interview, Menino ripped Detroit’s police response time and overall blight, saying, “I’d blow up the place and start all over.”
“No, seriously, when it takes a police officer 90 minutes to answer a call, there’s something wrong with the system,” Menino was quoted as saying. “Forty percent of the streetlights are out, most of the buildings are boarded up. Why? Inaction, that’s the problem — leadership.”
Menino spokeswoman Dot Joyce said last night the mayor — infamous for shooting from the lip — will clarify his comments to Bing.
“He may reach out to the mayor and make sure he’s clear that of course he meant no offense to them,” Joyce said. “He obviously meant no ill will towards Detroit.”. . .