Mike Bloomberg on Principles & Values

Mayor of New York City (Independent)


I will support any Democratic nominee against Trump

Q: You have promised to support any of the Democratic candidates who win the Democratic nomination?

BLOOMBERG: I have always thought it's ridiculous to say, "I will support the candidate no matter who it is," because you might not agree with him. And that's how we got Donald Trump. The party supported him, no matter how bad he was. And they shouldn't have. We wouldn't have had Trump if they didn't do that. Having said that, it's easy for me to make the commitment that I will support any of the Democratic candidates if they get the nomination, because the alternative is Donald Trump. And that, we don't want.


BLOOMBERG: And let me also say, I made a commitment that we have these campaign offices all over the country, and we will keep the main ones open through November 3, so, whoever is the nominee can use those.

Source: CNN S. C. Town Hall for 2020 Presidential primary , Feb 26, 2020

Ran as Republican because NYC Dems wouldn't let me on ballot

Q: You rejoined the Democratic party in 2018 after leaving the party for nearly 20 years. Why should Democratic voters trust you to lead their party?

BLOOMBERG: I come from Massachusetts where there are no Republicans, so I was a Democrat there for sure. I moved to New York City where there are no Republicans, so I was a Democrat there. It is true, I ran as a Republican twice, an Independent once because the Democratic Party wouldn't let me go out and get on the ballot, and I was an outsider- OK, that's the way it is. But if you want to know my Democratic credentials, I spoke for Hillary Clinton at the DNC Convention in Philadelphia in 2016, I certainly supported Barack Obama and Joe Biden--he says no, but I was there both times for them. I campaigned among the Conference of Mayors for ObamaCare. I've spent a lot of time working on Democratic causes, one of which was helping to elect 21 Congresspeople who were good on guns, good on climate--those are my two issues.

Source: CNN S. C. Town Hall for 2020 Presidential primary , Feb 26, 2020

If elected will put company into blind trust and sell it

I can tell you that what I really did was, I changed the policy in the company, which I still own. I will put into a blind trust and sell it, if I become president, because I don't want the conflicts that Donald Trump has.
Source: CNN S.C. Town Hall on eve of 2020 primary , Feb 26, 2020

Ridiculous to throw out capitalism; communism doesn't work

Mike BLOOMBERG: We're not going to throw out capitalism. We tried. Other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn't work. We're not going to throw out capitalism. We tried. Other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn't work.

Bernie SANDERS: Let's talk about democratic socialism. Not communism, Mr. Bloomberg. We are living in a socialist society right now. The problem is we have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor. When Donald Trump gets $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury condominiums, that's socialism for the rich. I believe in democratic socialism for working people, not billionaires, health care for all, educational opportunities for all.

Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada , Feb 19, 2020

Knows how to beat Trump and his vile policies

Mike Bloomberg proclaimed "I know how to beat him. I already have and I will again." Bloomberg referenced advocacy campaigns he's backed since leaving office that have resulted in stronger gun legislation and climate change actions in direct conflict with Trump administration goals. "It's the most urgent and important fight of our lives. And I'm going all-in," Bloomberg, adding he would "stand up to the bigotry and hatred and wrong-headed policies" Trump was "anchored in."
Source: The Springfield Republican on 2019 Democratic primary , Nov 25, 2019

Words matter; what President says is very important

I think words matter. People look to their leadership for guidance and to say that it doesn't have an effect is wrong. What the President says is very important. If he supports or says nice things about racists, it encourages racism. If he goes and says nice things about white supremacists, he encourages that kind of violence. I hope he understands this. He cannot go and shoot off his mouth and say anything, he's the President of the United States.
Source: CBS Face the Nation interview for 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 11, 2019

American Cities Initiative philanthropies gave away $6.4B

From shuttering coal-fired power plants to fighting the gun lobby, obesity and Big Tobacco, Michael Bloomberg's philanthropy has given away $6.4 billion and earned the love and respect of progressive-minded activists across the country.

[Via Bloomberg Philanthropies], Bloomberg's giving covers five major areas--environment, public health, government innovation, the arts and education--and last year totaled $787 million, making him the nation's second-most generous philanthropist behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Through one of his biggest programs, the American Cities Initiative, Bloomberg has helped municipalities and activists grapple with everything from climate change to guns to obesity. The initiative is an outgrowth of Bloomberg's time as New York City mayor and has helped sow goodwill with mayors and former mayors throughout the country, giving him possible entr‚e to a layer of local political support that conventional candidates lack.

Source: Politico.com on 2020 Democratic primary hopefuls , Feb 19, 2019

Trump was not a business manager; I ran large organizations

Q: At the DNC in 2016, you called Donald Trump "a reckless and radical choice." It was a memorable quote. Has he done anything to make you reconsider that?

BLOOMBERG: I would give him an incomplete grade. The style of changing your mind every day, and the turnover in the administration is really dangerous.

Q: His compelling case was that he came from the world of business, as you did.

BLOOMBERG: No, he didn't. He was a real estate developer. He didn't manage large numbers of people, he didn't run big organizations. He was not really a business person.

Q: Do you see some management issues, then?

BLOOMBERG: Management is like skiing. You don't read a book on skiing and then go out and ski double black diamonds. Management is something you learn over a period of time and you have to manage larger and larger groups of people and make more and more difficult decisions and live with those decisions as you go. This president does not have experience in running large organizations.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Apr 22, 2018

Keep religion and politics separate

Before his departure, Mayor Michael Bloomberg navigated several issues with religious leaders during his three terms in office, always with an inclination to keep religion and politics separate.

Bloomberg, who is Jewish, declined to feature clergy at 9/11 commemorations and strongly defended a proposal to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero. He also supported New York Police Department surveillance of Muslim mosques and neighborhoods.

[Mayor-elect Bill] De Blasio said Bloomberg governed with a "blind spot" to faith-based groups. "I don't think the mayor really understands how crucial it is to protecting the fabric of the city," de Blasio said.

[A religion pundit noted, "the city has debated requiring pregnancy centers to post signs that they do not perform abortions. And the 'stop-and-frisk' police tactic, which some argued resulted in racial profiling, remains controversial, especially in the city's influential black churches."

Source: Religion News Service on 2020 Democratic primary , Jan 6, 2014

Self-made billionaire from financial information company

The first time I met Mike Bloomberg was in the late 1990s at a dinner party in his Manhattan house.

I'd seen mayors come and go and Bloomberg did not fit the mold any which way. The slight, self-made billionaire was the opposite of the boisterous characters New Yorkers enjoy. He had created an improbably successful company, a financial information giant that grew from a sophisticated computer terminal he developed. Few beyond Wall Street and the City of London understood much about that or knew that Bloomberg was a generous philanthropist, but the elaborate ad campaigns he could bankroll would fill in the blanks. Recognition wasn't the problem.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by Joyce Purnick, p. 1-2 , Sep 28, 2010

1940s: Raised in Medford, reached Eagle Scout at early age

Mike Bloomberg grew up in Medford MA, a suburban city not far from Boston, and that was part of the problem--or maybe part of the solution. Medford was quiet and dull and Mike was bored. He place could not contain him. He wanted up and out and since that was not about to happen for a while, he turned into a mini-maverick, a restless loner.

He was not a great athlete. He was not a great student. But he was willful, serious and competitive in his own way, reaching the lofty rank of Eagle Scout even before he was old enough to qualify, planning his escape from his drab suburban town as soon as possible, confident in his self- assigned role as a contrarian who followed his own agenda.

If there was one trait that stood out in Mike's childhood foreshadowing the adult he would become, it was his stubborn insistence on taking charge.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by Joyce Purnick, p. 7-8 , Sep 28, 2010

Childhood home included kosher kitchen, but mom bent rules

His Judaism was a non-issue for him. "I never experienced any anti-Semitism. In the context that you would ask about, did you feel discriminated against, did you feel like you couldn't do anything or something because--well, no, I never felt that."

Life in the Bloomberg home was Norman Rockwell with a Jewish twist: Mrs. Bloomberg kept a kosher kitchen. Every spring the family took the blue glass dishes out of basement storage for Passover. Every night the family ate together and the kids would clean up. Mrs. Bloomberg bent the rules now and again. She kept one knife, one fork and one glass plate separate, for her rebellious son to use with the takeout Chinese food he craved when he got a little older.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p. 12-13 , Sep 28, 2010

Bill Clinton's sin was self-indulgence, not immorality

Mike Bloomberg's' pragmatism seems always to prevail over Mike Bloomberg's emotions, and a cold-eyed discipline over his frailties. Get a hold and get over it, as his parents instructed and he does.

When Bill Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was entertaining America, Bloomberg was indignant. Casual acquaintances were amazed to hear him vent angrily about the president. Clinton's behavior was not only outrageous, he would say, it was unacceptable; he should resign. Mike Bloomberg suddenly a prig? No way. He saw Clinton's offense not as immoral; it was self-indulgent, lacking self-control. Not the Bloomberg way.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p. 70-71 , Sep 28, 2010

Outsider to both Republican and Democratic establishment

The mayor would inherit a dysfunctional public school system. Bloomberg would have to preserve Giuliani's success in reducing crime and welfare payments, find a way to build more affordable housing.

And winning did not look easy. Bloomberg's chances of getting the Democratic nomination were nil; too many better known Democrats were itching to retake the city from Giuliani. The Republicans, always hungry for attention and money and a plausible candidate, would welcome a wealthy turncoat, but their label represented a serious handicap with voters who registered 5 to 1 Democratic. Only 3 non-Democrats--LaGuardia as a "Fusion" candidate and Republicans Lindsay and Giuliani--had succeeded in the last 75 years. Betting against the odds, Bloomberg quietly switched his affiliation to Republican.

He was a stranger to NY's Republican establishment, though, the professional politicians who could talk up a candidate, give him credibility at least on the inside, with the party's power brokers.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p. 82-83 , Sep 28, 2010

OpEd: Stiff in public; impatient with retail handshaking

Herman Badillo, a former congressman, gamely brought some interest to the Republican contest, but mainly it was Bloomberg vs. Bloomberg. The businessman was a terrible candidate. He was stiff in public, impatient with retail handshaking, awkward with voters and accustomed to saying whatever he wanted and whenever he wanted to say it. Even his own advisers saw the problem. "He started off as a terrible candidate, then got to be a so-so candidate," one of them said.

Could the rigidly private Bloomberg turn himself into a public figure? Retail campaigning was no longer central to a campaign. Television ads, radio ads and direct mailings counted for more than kissing babies or eating hot dogs. With his money, Bloomberg could build a heavily manipulated offstage identity and his minders worked hard to limit and control his public appearance.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by Joyce Purnick, p. 95 , Sep 28, 2010

Impatient with government; executive ok; not legislative

Mike's list: President of the US. Secretary General of the UN. Head of the World Bank. Those were 3 jobs Mike Bloomberg coveted as far back as college. He talked about them so often that friends were convinced that he wasn't fantasizing the way young people do, but actually planning ahead.

He made political contributions--modest ones given his wealth--to mostly Democratic candidates. But participatory politics was never his thing. In fact, he wrote in his self-admiring memoir, fittingly titled "Bloomberg by Bloomberg," that when he was pondering a career change in his late 30s, "My impatience with government kept me away from politics. All elected officials could stop worrying."

In what could have been a broad hint, however, he also wrote that thought being a legislator would bore him, "If I ever ran it would be for a job in the executive branch of government--mayor, governor or president. I think I would be great in any of those 3 executive jobs that mirror my experience."

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p. 73-74 , Sep 28, 2010

Offered independent ticket by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R, NE)

While NYC Mayor Bloomberg says he is content running the 5 boroughs, other politicians have higher aspirations for the successful leader. On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sen. Chuck Hagel suggested he and the mayor team up for an independent presidential bid. “I think Mayor Bloomberg should seriously think about this,” Hagel said. “He is the mayor of one of the greatest cities on earth. He makes that city work. That’s what America wants.”

Hagel made the suggestion after sharing a meal with Bloomberg durin the mayor’s most recent visit to Washington. “It’s a great country to think about--a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up, leading this nation,” he said.

Bloomberg has said repeatedly he will not enter the presidential race. Nevertheless, Bloomberg has fueled speculation about his ambitions with a schedule that has frequently taken him outside NY. He has also relaunched a Web site, www.mikebloomberg.com, to keep backers abreast of his governmental and philanthropic work, Bloomberg says.

Source: New York Newsday, “US Politics” , May 14, 2007

Will decide in early ‘08 on run as self-financed independent

As fellow New Yorkers Rudy Giuliani (R) and Hillary Clinton (D) campaign vigorously across the country to become their parties’ nominees and prepare for what would be an electric general-election clash, Bloomberg is patiently waiting in the wings.

Publicly, the Democrat-turned-Republican professes no interest in the top job. But Bloomberg has dropped enough hints and has had enough tantalizing discussions with potential supporters that people who observe the city’s politics for a living are

Source: , Mar 25, 2007

Acquisition of money inextricably tied to hard work

Bloomberg grew up in a blue-collar suburb of Boston. The Bloombergs owned their own home, but Michael’s father worked seven days a week as to feed his family. Michael’s view of money was formed early: It was a tool, imbued with no emotional attachment whatsoever. And the acquisition of money was inextricably tied to hard work, nothing else. Throughout the fifties, though, William regularly wrote small checks to the NAACP. “He said it was because discrimination is against everybody,” Bloomberg recalls.
Source: Chris Smith, New York Magazine , Oct 3, 2005

Charitable giving based on “Where can I make a difference?”

In 1994, Bloomberg hired [philanthropic staff], focusing on education, public health, and the arts. Some money was directed to people and organizations with social connections to Bloomberg. Other Bloomberg gifts have gone to causes traceable to his upbringing and Jewish heritage. Bloomberg has given well over $150 million to Johns Hopkins, his alma mater, with much of it directed to the school of public health-which in April 2001 was renamed the Bloomberg School of Public Health. According to the university’s dean, “He said, ‘The company is going to be a going concern whether I’m here or not, and I need another challenge, and it’s not building another company. I don’t need any more money. Where can I make a difference?’ ”
Source: Chris Smith, New York Magazine , Oct 3, 2005

Started Bloomberg company after Salomon Bros. fired him

[Upon being fired from Salomon Brothers in 1981], if they'd said, "We have another job for you"--say, running the Afghanistan office--I'd have done it in a second. Was I sad on the drive home? You bet. But, as usual, I was much too macho to show it. And I did have $10 million in cash and convertible bonds as compensation for my hurt feelings.

I ordered a sable jacket for my wife, Sue. While I was never embarrassed to say that I'd been fired and was now running a small start-up business, I'm tougher than many others (or, perhaps as a psychological defense mechanism, I have convinced myself not to care what others think). But I was worried that Sue might be ashamed of my new, less visible status and concerned I couldn't support the family/ A sable jacket seemed to say, "No sweat. We can still eat. We're still players."

On my last day of work, September 30, 1981, I picked up the jacket. Sue was delighted. Next morning, I started Bloomberg, the company. The rest is work in progress.

Source: Chapter 1 of "Bloomberg by Bloomberg," by Mike Bloomberg , Aug 10, 2001

Candidates' religious beliefs should be kept private

Bloomberg had steadfastly refused to bow to the country's demand that national candidates make a display of religious faith, and he showed no willingness to leaven his position. "I think everybody's religious beliefs are their own and they should keep them private," he said to me when speculation about his presidential aspirations was growing intense. "This business of bringing religion into everything is just bad because if you really believe in religion you should be the person out there championing separation of church and state. If you don't care about religion, then no harm, no foul."

One can only speculate how that message, delivered by an unapologetically secular Jew, would have played out in a campaign that featured the melodrama of Barack Obama's flamboyant minister.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by Joyce Purnick, p.168 , Sep 28, 2010

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Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
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