NEW YORK, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The New York Daily News once opined that U.S. President Gerald Ford was telling the city to drop dead, but that's not how he saw it, the newspaper said.
The Daily News front page screamed "Ford to City: Drop Dead" in October 1975, when Ford, who died Tuesday, threatened to veto a federal bailout of the city.
But Ford, in a March 2002 interview with The Daily News, said his threat actually helped New York.
"The truth is, by our firm position, New York City changed its irresponsible fiscal policy where they were giving (exorbitant) pay increases to employees (and) committing themselves to pensions that were outrageous," Ford said.
"They tightened their belts, and when they did that then I authorized the federal government to loan them money."
The former president said he was a regular visitor to New York when he was a love struck Yale Law School student.
"I had this very beautiful gal as a close to three-year romance, and I used to go to New York most every weekend," he recalled. "I used to drive down. ... I got acquainted with a lot of the things you do in New York -- the theater, etc."