LEAK: Bloomberg Called Warren ‘Scary,’ Said His 2012 Endorsement Of Obama Was ‘Backhanded’
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg reportedly said in 2016 that fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren is “scary,” and that his endorsement of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign was “backhanded.”
“The left is arising. The progressive movement is just as scary,” Bloomberg said, according to newly leaked audio. “Elizabeth Warren on one side. And whoever you want to pick on the Republicans on the right side?”
The former New York City mayor also said Republican nominee Mitt Romney would’ve made a better president. “The second Obama election I wrote a very backhanded endorsement of Obama,” Bloomberg said. “Saying I thought he hadn’t done the right thing, hadn’t done, hadn’t been good at things that I think are important and Romney would be a better person at doing that. But Romney did not stick with the values that he had when he was governor of Massachusetts.”
CNN broke the story, saying “his comments, allegedly from a closed Goldman Sachs event for at Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2016, were anonymously sent to CNN by an email address called “CancelGoldman,” with the author claiming he worked at Goldman Sachs for 14 years.”
Bloomberg immediately took heat for the audio — which was released on the day he is set to appear in his second Democratic debate.
In a statement on Obama, Joe Biden’s campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said, “Now we know that behind closed doors, Bloomberg described his last-minute endorsement of President Obama in 2012 as ‘very backhanded’ and said that he thought ‘Romney would be a better person at doing’ the ‘things that I think are important.’ Bloomberg may have changed his voter registration but he’s still a Republican at heart.”
Stu Loeser, a Bloomberg senior adviser, though, told CNN, “Everyone who read Mike’s endorsement of President Obama saw that it was aimed at convincing Americans who saw merit in both candidates to vote for Obama. President Obama didn’t need Mike Bloomberg to get out the vote from the strongest Obama voters.
“What Mike could and did do for President Obama is much like what he could and did do for Hillary Clinton when he spoke at the Democratic Convention in 2016 — convince Americans who weren’t already convinced of voting for the Democrat.”
In one other section of the audio, Bloomberg said he would “defend the banks.”
“Well, to start, my first campaign platform would be to defend the banks, and you know how well that’s gonna sell in this country,” Bloomberg said.
But Loeser said the banks line was a joke.
“The opening line was a joke,” Loeser told CNN in an email. “In the more serious parts of the speech, Mike tells very wealthy Americans that they need to break their addiction to cheap money that’s exacerbating income inequality in America.”
But in one other section of the audio, Bloomberg encapsulate the 2020 election.
“The trouble is, these campaigns in this day and age, really are about slogans and not about issues anymore. And in this election you’re going to see people are voting and they either love or hate, mostly hate both, but who you hate the least. That’s what they’re going to vote for. And they’re not going to vote on issues,” he said.