Former Mayor of New York City and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg appeared on “CBS This Morning” with Gayle King recently.
Approximately half way into the interview, King brought up a tweet from President Trump, which reads: “Mini Mike Bloomberg has instructed his third rate news organization not to investigate him or any Democrat, but to go after President Trump only.”
The host then asked: “What’s your response to what he said?”
I think people have said to me, “How can you investigate yourself?” And I said, “I don’t think you can.” But if you take a look at the Bloomberg News organization, we carry news from lots of different places, like New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. There’s plenty of ways for people to get news about the candidates if they look at Bloomberg News.
King asked Bloomberg about his employees, some of whom have complained that “they’re not allowed to investigate other Democratic candidates because their boss is in the race.”
To that, Bloomberg was rather blunt, stating: “You just have to learn to live with some things. They get a paycheck, and it comes from the company, and from the company that I started – not running at the moment; turned it over to somebody else to do that – but with with your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities.”
On the same day Bloomberg announced his candidacy, Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait sent out a memo that reads in part:
No previous presidential candidate has owned a journalistic organization of this size. We have electoral laws to follow – to do with both balance and opinion. We will certainly obey them, but I think we need to do more than just that – and I believe we can. So this is how we will proceed…
The place where Mike has had the most contact with editorial is Bloomberg Opinion: our editorials have reflected his views. David Shipley, Tim O’Brien and some members of the Board responsible for those editorials will take a leave of absence to join Mike’s campaign. We will suspend the Board, so there will be no unsigned editorials. Our columnists, who produced the majority of Bloomberg Opinion’s content, will continue to speak for themselves, and we will continue to take some op-ed articles from outsiders (although not op-eds on the election)…
On news, we will write about virtually all aspects of this presidential contest in much the same way as we have done so far. We will describe who is winning and who is losing. We will look at policies and their consequences. We will carry polls, we will interview candidates, and we will track their campaigns, including Mike’s. We have already assigned a reporter to follow his campaign … and in the stories we write on the presidential contest, we will make clear that our owner is now a candidate…
For the moment, our P&I team are continuing to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day. If Mike is chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate (and Donald Trump emerges as the Republican one), we will reassess how we do that.
Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait just sent this note to staffers: “There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy for a newsroom that has built up its reputation for independence in part by not writing about ourselves…” pic.twitter.com/RvfvpsZgDV
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 24, 2019
Later in the interview, Bloomberg was asked about accusations that he hadn’t apologized swiftly enough for the “stop and frisk” policy when he was mayor of New York City. He said that “in looking back,” he knows he “made a mistake,” and apologized.
When asked if he would choose a “woman running mate or a person of color,” Bloomberg said that his “criteria is plain and simple.”
“My only criteria is, if I drop dead, could the vice president take over and run this country such that my kids and grandkids were safe and had a future. That’s the only criteria,” Bloomberg said.