Ahead of Mike Bloomberg’s first Democratic primary debate appearance in Nevada, new comments from the 2020 hopeful have resurfaced that could lead to hard questions from moderators and his fellow candidates Wednesday evening.
In a PBS interview in 2011, Bloomberg suggested that young “black and Latino males…don’t have any [job] prospects.”
“There’s this enormous cohort of black and Latino males, age, let’s say, 16 to 25, that don’t have jobs, don’t have any prospects, don’t know how to find jobs, don’t know what their skill sets are, [and] don’t know how to behave in the workplace where they have to work collaboratively and collectively,” Bloomberg, who served as mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, said in the interview, according to a report from the Washington Examiner.
Bloomberg also said that minorities were responsible for — and the victims of — “virtually all” of the crime in New York City.
The Wednesday night debate in Nevada will be the first time Bloomberg is open to confrontation from other Democrat presidential candidates about these and other comments he has made, which have been resurfacing since he began to rise through the ranks of candidates. Besides his remarks about race, comments Bloomberg has made about women have also made headlines.
It remains to be seen how Democrats steeped in #MeToo culture will react to allegations that Bloomberg made comments of a sexual nature about women in the workplace and referred to people who are transgender in a derogatory way.
Bloomberg is not on the ballot in Nevada, but he has leaped to second place in a new NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders has 31% in the new poll, while Bloomberg has 19%.
Buying the nomination
Meanwhile, the Democratic primary field has narrowed to eight candidates, and six of them will appear at the debate, according to NPR: Sanders, Bloomberg, former small-town Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Candidates Tom Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) did not qualify.
Ahead of the Wednesday debate, multiple candidates have accused Bloomberg of trying to buy the Democrat nomination, NPR noted.
Warren said Bloomberg’s attempt to buy the debate appearance was a “shame,” and tweeted: “At least now primary voters curious about how each candidate will take on Donald Trump can get a live demonstration of how we each take on an egomaniac billionaire.”
Sanders, for his part, said it was wrong for Bloomberg to try to buy the nomination, but many voters who don’t think Sanders can win with a socialist agenda are flocking to Bloomberg as an alternative.
Only time will tell who prevails for the chance to take on President Donald Trump this November.