Update 6:31 p.m. Well, this changes things. You can read the original story below, but New York has updated the original "racist" quote in their story online. It takes on a new meaning because Bloomberg initially backtracked part of his statement immediately, which provides some clarity to his explanation. This is how the quote reads now: 

Well, no, no, I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.

But his whole campaign is that there are two different cities here. And I’ve never liked that kind of division. The way to help those who are less fortunate is, number one, to attract more very fortunate people. They are the ones that pay the bills. The people that would get very badly hurt here if you drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes to try to help. Tearing people apart with this “two cities” thing doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s a destructive strategy for those you want to help the most. He’s a very populist, very left-wing guy, but this city is not two groups, and if to some extent it is, it’s one group paying for services for the other.

It’s a shame, because I’ve always thought he was a very smart guy.

That's some pretty major context during a particularly sensitive part of the interview to leave out of the first draft. There was a debate playing out in the wake of the interview's release online about whether or not Bloomberg meant to say "racial" instead of "racist." "Having covered his briefings over a year, he does sometimes have those grammatical tics/quirks," Talking Points Memo's Hunter Walker said earlier on Twitter. It seems fairly clear he meant racial and not racist. 

The magazine added an editor's note defending the original transcript: 

The mayor's office asked us to amend the remarks to add an interjection that was inaudible in our audiotape of the interview, which was conducted over speakerphone. In our view the added words do not alter the meaning of the exchange as reflected in the published interview.

Original: According to outgoing New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the campaign to replace him from Bill de Blasio is racist because the Democratic candidate keeps yakking on and on about his family, who happen to be black. 

If your reaction to that stunning bit of logic was "wait, what," then you're in line with those who were astounded after reading New York's interview with the mayor released Saturday morning. As time ticks down on Bloomberg's career at City Hall, every major media publication in New York is getting a crack at an exit interview with mayor, and they all mention the countdown clock in his office right off the bat. New York's Chris Smith spoke with Bloomberg about New York, class divide, Bloomberg's biggest problems in office, his legacy, and what he thinks of those hoping to succeed him as the Big Apple's mayor.

And that's where Bloomberg made some news this morning, because -- surprise, surprise -- the mayor who thinks the number one solution to poverty is courting new, rich Russian citizens doesn't like the campaign from the guy running a campaign actually supporting the lower classes. Smith mentioned that Bill de Blasio, the current mayoral front runner, was running a "class-warfare" campaign, and was about to connect that as a refutation on Bloomberg's tenure in office when Bloomberg cut him off. The mayor had to correct him: "Class-warfare and racist," he said. "Racist?" Smith asked. The mayor explained his feelings

I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.

But his whole campaign is that there are two different cities here. And I’ve never liked that kind of division. The way to help those who are less fortunate is, number one, to attract more very fortunate people. They are the ones that pay the bills. The people that would get very badly hurt here if you drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes to try to help. Tearing people apart with this “two cities” thing doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s a destructive strategy for those you want to help the most. He’s a very populist, very left-wing guy, but this city is not two groups, and if to some extent it is, it’s one group paying for services for the other.

It’s a shame, because I’ve always thought he was a very smart guy.

So because de Blasio campaign with his family, who happen to be black, he is running a racist campaign. At right is de Blasio campaigning with his son, Dante, who has become something of a local celebrity during the campaign. Bill de Blasio is not a racist, but his campaign is, because his family is black. Right. Got it. That makes perfect sense, Bloomberg, somewhere -- maybe in Candyland. People are now trying to wrap their heads around how Bloomberg could possibly think de Blasio's campaign is racist: 

If you want to know who Bloomberg would like to see succeed him, well, he's sort of staying mum on that front. In a way. Sort of. Bloomberg endorsed The New York Times' endorsements of Democrat Christine Quinn, his old pal, and Republican Joe Lhota, the former MTA chief. "I thought the Times was right in their editorials on Lhota and Quinn. I’m very pleased about that," he said prior to his criticizing de Blasio. 

Bloomberg's comments on de Blasio's "class-warfare" campaign are less shocking when you read everything that preceded them. Smith and Bloomberg discussed class divide in New York, the mayor's cozy relationship with Wall Street, and how he chose to help the middle class while in office. Bloomberg explained his strategy was always to court the rich so they can pay more taxes and help the poor, and how that's how his predecessor should operate, too. Bring the rich to the city so they can subsidize programs that help lower classes. "Who’s paying our taxes? We pay the highest school costs in the country. It comes from the wealthy!," Bloomberg said at one point, before offering this defense (emphasis added):

We have an $8.5 billion budget for our Police Department. We’re the safest big city in the country—stop me when you get bored with this! Life expectancy is higher here than in the rest of the country—who’s paying for that? We want these people to come here, and it’s not our job to say that they’re over- or underpaid. I might not pay them the same thing if it was my company—maybe I’d pay them more, I don’t know. All I know is from the city’s point of view, we want these people, and why criticize them? Wouldn’t it be great if we could get all the Russian billionaires to move here?

So does this mean Bloomberg is secretly a Brooklyn Nets fan?

The whole interview is worth the read. Bloomberg defends the controversial Stop and Frisk policy, says the judge who ruled it unconstitutional was "just wrong," talks about the 2016 presidential race, gives his thoughts on Obama's presidency, and talks about "legacy media" and what he would do with the New York Post. "I would try and upscale it, and that's what would destroy it," he says. At least he's right about one thing.