Photograph of Mayor Bloomberg and Comptroller Thompson during the final debate by James Estrin/AP pool photo

Last night, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Comptroller William Thompson squared off for their second and final mayoral debate. And it was a feisty affair, with just a week till the election: The Post called it a "Yankees basebrawl", the Daily News noted how they "pulled out all the stops", and the NY Times noted how Bloomberg "pound[ed]" Thompson.

Some highlighted soundbites:

  • Bloomberg on Thompson's time at the Board of Education: "He didn't get the job done. He failed our students. He failed teachers. He failed the taxpayers. He failed our future."
  • Thompson's response: "This constant distortion of my record at the Board of Education and spending an excessive amount of money to continue to lie to the people of New York needs to stop."
  • Bloomberg on Thompson's fiscal plans: "My opponent has proposed something like $5 billion in expenses that would have to be paid for with job-killing taxes. He said so many things I can't keep straight who he's going to tax, but he's going to tax somebody." (Thompson denied this.)
  • Thompson on Bloomberg's property taxes: "You squeezed middle-class New Yorkers out of New York. You continue to kill the middle class and working New Yorkers in this city."
  • Bloomberg on Thompson's $500,000 in donations from businesses that work with the city: "Give the money back. It just looks terrible, even if it’s not."
  • Thompson on term limits: "Mike Bloomberg has overturned term limits for his own self-interest. He betrayed (New Yorkers') trust and he ignored their wishes."
  • Thompson on the Yankee Stadium deal, which was subsidized by tax-payer bonds: "This is just another example of the mayor's giveaway to another one of his developer friends in the city. We're seeing these tax breaks, this giveaway, to the Yankees to build a stadium that people in the surrounding neighborhood and all across the city of New York can't afford to buy tickets to go see."
  • Bloomberg on small business: "I started a small business. I know what it's like to be an entrepreneur, I know what it's like to create jobs. To come here it's not easy. You worry every night you go home, you worry whether you can make ends meet the next day."
  • Thompson on Bloomberg's relatability: "Everybody realizes that the mayor is out of touch with the people that he represents."
  • Thompson giving a grade on Bloomberg's tenure: "I think I'll be kind and give the mayor a D-minus."
  • Bloomberg giving Thompson a grade: "I think Bill has been a reasonably good comptroller...He’s certainly the best comptroller that I’ve ever had to work with." (Thompson is the only controller Bloomberg has worked with.

Pundits believed that Thompson needed to truly knock out Bloomberg to make a dent— and Bloomberg didn't give him much opportunity. The Times even compared Bloomberg's "ferocity" to that of a bulldog, "While many expected Mr. Bloomberg, who leads by double digits in the polls, to play it safe and offer only vague answers, he showed an aggressiveness he seldom displays in public." Thompson did bring up how Bloomberg's accountant donated $26,000 to Newark Mayor Cory Booker—right after Booker endorsed him—but Bloomberg's and Booker's spokespeople said that the two have admired and worked with each other for a while.

The Marist Poll's Lee Mirinigoff told WABC 7 that Thompson needed a different message, "It can't just be the money, Bloomberg's spending or the term limits. People know that. You've got to tell voters something they don't know about you and that has to be what you're doing to do as mayor."