Boston Mayor Menino Apologizes After Saying He’d ‘Blow Up’ And Rebuild Detroit

Boston Mayor Tom Menino apologized Wednesday for a “poor choice of words” when he said in an interview that were he the mayor of Detroit, he’d “blow up” the city and “start all over.”

Menino made the comments in a recent New York Times magazine interview. Asked where he would relocate if he could live in any other U.S. city than Boston, Menino answered Detroit.

“I’d blow up the place and start all over,” Menino told the magazine. “No, seriously, when it takes a police officer 90 minutes to answer a call, there’s something wrong with the system. Forty percent of the streetlights are out, most of the buildings are boarded up. Why? Inaction, that’s the problem — leadership.”

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing did not take kindly to the remark, calling Menino’s comment insensitive in light of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“It is extremely regrettable that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino used such an unfortunate choice of words to describe what he would do if he came to Detroit,” Bing said Tuesday in a statement, as quoted by Detroit’s WWJ. “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.'”

Menino told Boston radio station WBZ Wednesday that he stood by the comment about Detroit’s police response time but admitted he “made a mistake” and used a “poor choice of words.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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