While Mr. Ferrer often attacked Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Carrion has aligned himself with the mayor, particularly on big development projects. He did not, however, shy away from criticizing the so-called pay to play legislation Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Quinn joined together to pass, which caps campaign contributions from those who do business with the city.
"If I were a billionaire 13 times over, I would be able to easily say what he says," Mr. Carrion said. "I have great respect for Mike Bloomberg. I think he's been a great mayor, but the suggestion and the implication that political contributions corrupt the process flies in the face of American history from the beginning."
Carrion: ‘Gracie Mansion Is Ready for Family Life Again'
The Bronx president said that while he believes the attempts to improve the system were sincere he took the politically conservative position that "the free market" should not limit anybody's participation in the political process.
"It essentially implies that all political contributions and all political activity, unless it's giving from their household budget, is fundamentally, I don't want to say corrupt, fundamentally corruptible, and that's insulting," he said.
Mr. Carrion has taken some criticism for accepting campaign contributions from developers and for backing projects that faced community opposition, including the Gateway Center, which critics said was a sweetheart deal. Last year, he drew ire when he replaced several community board members after they voted against the Yankee Stadium plan.