Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg said that if he had run for president in 2016 and won, defending the banking industry would have topped his agenda.
In a 2016 audio recording from what is thought to be a private Goldman Sachs event, Bloomberg first can be heard referring to the audience as “my peeps.” He then went on to talk about what his priorities would be if he were running for president. “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,” he said.
Bloomberg continued, “But seriously. somebody’s gotta stand up and do what we need. A healthy banking system that’s going to take risks because that’s what creates the jobs for everybody. And nobody’s willing to say that. 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.”
Also in the audio, according to CNN, Bloomberg can be heard calling Elizabeth Warren and other progressives “scary.”
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“The left is arising. The progressive movement is just as scary,” Bloomberg said. “Elizabeth Warren on one side. And whoever you want to pick on the Republicans on the right side?”
As a 2020 candidate, Bloomberg has flooded the airwaves with ads that project him as an eager supporter of former President Barack Obama but, according to CNN, Bloomberg told the audience that his 2012 endorsement of Obama was “backhanded” and that Mitt Romney would have been a more effective president.
Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser told CNN that Bloomberg’s “opening line was a joke” and went on to defend the former mayor by pointing towards remarks Bloomberg made in the recording about “wealthy Americans that they need to break their addiction to cheap money that’s exacerbating income inequality in America.”
With Bernie Sanders capturing early state victories and Elizabeth Warren ranking second in a new nationwide poll, Bloomberg will be likely looking to stop the progressive candidates’ momentum in tomorrow’s debate. But this new audio gives Warren new ammunition to, once again, ruthlessly drag him on national television.