Former Mayor of New York City and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg appeared on “CBS This Morning” with Gayle King recently.
King first asked Bloomberg about his comments pertaining to a presidential run the last time he appeared on the show:
KING: What happened between September and now?
BLOOMBERG: I looked at our national government getting worse, the way we’re behaving overseas and domestically, led by our president. I said back in 2016, “He is the wrong person for the job. He doesn’t have the temperament or the ethics or the intellect to do the job.” And I said, “We just can’t have another four years of this.” And then I watched all the candidates. And I just thought to myself, “Donald Trump would eat them up.”
King pushed back on Bloomberg’s “eat them up” remark, and the candidate rephrased, saying that he believes he “would do the best job of competing with [Trump] and beating him.”
King later spoke about Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) lamenting the fact that the debate stage in December will feature (as of publication) an all-white group of candidates. She asked Bloomberg if that was a problem.
Bloomberg complimented Booker, then stated correctly that “the public is out there picking and choosing and narrowing down this field. The truth of the matter is you had a lot of diversity in the candidates, some of whom were very competent.”
As for why the field has narrowed as it has, the former mayor said: “I don’t know.”
King pressed Bloomberg on the progressive narrative that it’s “time for something new,” as opposed to another “old white gentleman.” Bloomberg pushed back, leading to the following exchange:
BLOOMBERG: Yes, it may be. But lots of people can enter. There was no reason – if you wanted to enter and run for president of the United States, you could have done that. But don’t complain to me that you’re not in the race. It was up to you. And I thought there was a lot of diversity in the group of Democratic aspirants. Entry is not a barrier.
KING: So you’re saying if you want diversity, then get in?
BLOOMBERG: That is exactly a good way to phrase it. Thank you very much.
As the Democratic presidential field has winnowed, one of its most prominent minority members dropped out, and the other non-white candidates who remain in the race are all polling in single digits.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced on Tuesday that she was dropping out of the presidential race, writing on Medium that her “campaign … simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
After Harris’ exit, some progressives on Twitter had a meltdown.
Journalist Lauren Duca tweeted:
Kamala Harris officially ended her campaign today, which means that all of the candidates who currently qualify for the December Democratic debate are white (Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Steyer).
White supremacy is not just a Fox News problem, folks.
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) December 3, 2019
Kamala Harris officially ended her campaign today, which means that all of the candidates who currently qualify for the December Democratic debate are white (Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Steyer). White supremacy is not just a Fox News problem, folks.
Dr. Eugene Gu, a progressive who frequently comments on politics, made a similar remark:
Kamala Harris dropping out of the race while only white candidates qualify for the next presidential debate shows that white privilege and white supremacy cut across party lines. It’s not just Trump. We have a racism problem in all of the United States of America, and it sucks.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 3, 2019
Kamala Harris dropping out of the race while only white candidates qualify for the next presidential debate shows that white privilege and white supremacy cut across party lines. It’s not just Trump. We have a racism problem in all of the United States of America, and it sucks.”
As it stands, the other minority candidates in the Democratic field are businessman Andrew Yang, who is polling at 2.6%, according to the RealClearPolitics national average, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who is polling at 2%, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who is polling at 1.4%, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) who is polling at 1%.
Another minority candidate, former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick, joined the race in mid-November, but has thus far failed to gain much if any traction among Democratic voters. He currently sits at 0.4%, according to the RealClearPolitics national polling average.