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Joe vs. The Big Apple

Biden takes on NYC.

9:01 AM, Feb 16, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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On "Face the Nation" this Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden accused Mayor Bloomberg of NYC of inflating the estimated cost of holding the KSM trials in Manhattan:

"The mayor came along and said the cost for providing security to hold this trial is X hundreds of millions of dollars, which I think is much more than would be needed," Biden said.

This is the first dispute I've heard of the numbers Bloomberg offered, and it came without any citation or further evidence, which makes me think it was just Joe spouting off. Which makes me wonder once again why the White House thinks putting Biden out front on this issue is a net win for them.

The big guys have declined to comment, but not everyone is so quiet:

City officials are irked at Biden’s assertion. “I will leave the security of New York City up to the mayor and police commissioner. I think Joe Biden should have talked to City officials. No city should have to put up with the burden and risk of the trial so the administration can have a terroristic pony show,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. (D-Queens).

Bloomberg and other heavy-hitters are certainly similarly irked behind the scenes. City officials told the New York Daily News that the Obama administration had never, until Biden's appearance, second-guessed the city's security estimates for the KSM trial, and had even validated them by requesting the same amount from Congress:

 A city official said the Obama administration had never questioned the city's security estimate of more than $200 million per year. President Obama even asked Congress for $200 million to secure the trial - but that was before objections from officials in New York and elsewhere grew to a roar.

Doesn't it feel like it's about time for a Rudy interview on this subject?

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