By By JENNIFER PELTZ
NEW YORK (AP) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is lashing out at reports that he encouraged Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to run to succeed him.
The mayor was asked Tuesday about the reports, which cite anonymous sources. He responded: "Did you hear me say that?"
He went on to praise expected mayoral candidate City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who stood by his side. She's long been perceived to have his support for the 2013 race.
Bloomberg says if journalists want to start a fight between him and Quinn, they won't succeed.
The New York Times first reported Monday that Bloomberg suggested a mayoral bid to Clinton by phone some months ago, but Clinton wasn't interested.
Clinton aides won't confirm such a call took place or discuss her plans.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.