Everyone will have their least favorite figure in the Democratic presidential primary. Mine might be Michael Bloomberg, for sheer self-regard, narcissism, condescension, and arrogance.
Bloomberg did his first televised interview as a presidential candidate with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King. Some of the highlights, or depending upon your perspective:
No other Democrats is even remotely as good Michael Bloomberg, according to Michael Bloomberg.
MIKE BLOOMBERG: I watched all the candidates. And I just thought to myself, “Donald Trump would eat ’em up.”
GAYLE KING: You think all the candidates who are running today, he would eat them up?
MIKE BLOOMBERG: Let me rephrase it. I think that I would do the best job of competing with him and beating him.
His ego is justified because of his accomplishments, he explained.
MIKE BLOOMBERG: Does it take an ego? Yeah, I guess it takes an ego to think that you could do the job. I have 12 years of experience in City Hall. And I think if you go back today and ask most people about those 12 years, they would say that the– not me, but the team that I put together made an enormous difference in New York City. And New York City benefited from it and continues to benefit from it today from what we did then.
Even his flip-flops are a demonstration of his intelligence, competence, and guts, he explained.
GAYLE KING: Stop and frisk. You recently apologized for that. Some people are suspicious of the timing of your apology.
MIKE BLOOMBERG: The mark of an intelligent, competent person is when they make a mistake, they have the guts to stand up and say, ‘I made a mistake. I’m sorry.’
Bloomberg complimented the remaining African-American candidate in the race for being “very well-spoken.”
GAYLE KING: the next debate is December And Cory Booker– said that it could possibly be on that debate stage no one of color. There would be more billionaires in the race than black people. Is that a problem to you?
MIKE BLOOMBERG: Well, Cory Booker endorsed me a number of times. And I endorsed Cory Booker a number of times. He’s very well-spoken. He’s got some good ideas.
He thinks that as president, he will be able to ignore the NRA.
GAYLE KING: You think you can work with the NRA?
MIKE BLOOMBERG: No. But I don’t think– I think you can avoid the NRA. You c– or you can beat them.
GAYLE KING: So you intend to work around the NRA is what you’re saying?
MIKE BLOOMBERG: Well, I think you just don’t pay– you just don’t make much of the NRA. You don’t have to go talk to them at all.
It’s the fault of the other candidates that they’re not self-financing like he is.
MIKE BLOOMBERG: I started a company. The company turned out to be phenomenally successful.
GAYLE KING: No, you’ve been very successful.
MIKE BLOOMBERG: And I give 100 percent of the money away. What’s wrong with all of that? And then I turn and they’re criticizing me for it. I don’t know, ask them what they’re doin’. Why didn’t they do that? They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money. And how much of their own money do they put into their campaigns?
…I’m doing exactly the same thing they’re doing, except that I am using my own money. They’re using somebody else’s money and those other people expect something from them. Nobody gives you money if they don’t expect something. And I don’t want to be bought.
Finally, a helpful hint for all the men out there: Never use the phrase, “we’ve only been living together for 19 years.”
GAYLE KING: I want to — get to a couple personal issues. Because you would be the first modern day single president. But we all know in New York you are not an eligible bachelor. Your significant other, Diana Taylor, is a very accomplished, highly-respected, highly-admired woman. Would she be our de facto first lady? Is she playing a role in your campaign?
MIKE BLOOMBERG: She’s playing a role in the campaign, number one. Number two, we’ve only been living together for 19 years.