In an interview with New York Magazine, lame duck Mayor Michael Bloomberg describes the mayoral campaign run by NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio as "class-warfare and racist."
Pushed to elaborate, Bloomberg explains that by highlighting his multi-racial family, de Blasio is tailoring his message to a specific community (a multi-racial community? You mean most of New York?):
I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.
Bloomberg then goes on to explain that New York City only functions if the incredibly wealthy continue to pay for the services of the poor:
But his whole campaign is that there are two different cities here. And I’ve never liked that kind of division. The way to help those who are less fortunate is, number one, to attract more very fortunate people. They are the ones that pay the bills. The people that would get very badly hurt here if you drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes to try to help. Tearing people apart with this “two cities” thing doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s a destructive strategy for those you want to help the most. He’s a very populist, very left-wing guy, but this city is not two groups, and if to some extent it is, it’s one group paying for services for the other.
De Blasio, the current front-runner, has included his black wife and bi-racial children in campaign advertisements, prominently featuring his son's outstanding afro. The Democratic primary, which will most likely decide New York's next mayor, is this Tuesday.
Other highlights from the interview include:
Bloomberg having no regrets about the violent eviction of Occupy Wall Street —
I had at various times during the two months discussed options with the Police Department and the Fire Department and the Health Department and the Sanitation Department and legal counsel. So when it came time I said, “Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!” And they executed it.
So no second thoughts?
On his status as an out-of-touch billionaire —
Will you show me all of the man-in-the-street, sympathetic, mayoral candidates? The last time I met one of them on the subway was a long time ago. Let’s not get too carried away. You want to make a bet that whoever’s the next mayor skips security at the front gate of City Hall? You want to make a bet they don’t have an office with everybody else? Come on. This is ridiculous.
On possibly buying the New York Times —
Does the future of journalism include you owning the Financial Times or the New York Times?
The Financial Times is not for sale. The New York Times is certainly not for sale.
But I’ve always said if you read Bloomberg Businessweek and The Economist cover to cover every week, you will know more than if you read the newspapers every day. And it’s probably true. And I think I’d say that about Businessweek even if it wasn’t owned by Bloomberg.
And if the Times were for sale?
I can’t answer a question like that. There are a handful of great newspapers with great journalism still. I don’t necessarily agree with their editorial policies or even their front page, but the Times is one of the great newspapers.
The whole interview with the billionaire mayor is pretty great. Turns out, he has a lot of "golfing buddies" who run massive corporations and banks. He thinks they're great!