- He added that most voters don’t want to support Democrats who champion the rights of ‘some guy in a dress’.
Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has been caught on video calling trans people ‘it’ and saying a trans woman is ‘some guy in a dress’.
The latest revelation comes just as Bloomberg hopes to start making a dent on the race to become the Democratic candidate to take on Donald Trump at the 3 November elections.
Critics had already attacked Bloomberg for similar comments in 2016.
But the new remarks date from less than a year ago. He made them at a Bermuda Business Development Agency forum in New York on 21 March 2019.
In his remarks, he said a Democratic candidate for president who vocally supports trans people is not a ‘winning formula’.
‘Some guy wearing a dress’
Bloomberg told the March 2019 forum that trans issues do not play well in ‘the middle of the country’.
He said: ‘If you go to the middle of the country, people would say… If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that’s not a winning formula for most people.’
Bloomberg went on to indicate that he believes the ‘majority of the electoral public’ is not as progressive on LGBT+ issues as the Democratic presidential candidates. This has to change, he thinks, if they are to win the White House.
He said: ‘And so you can understand where somebody like Trump comes from.
‘You can understand when you look at the Democratic Party, they are so far left that two years ago there was nobody on their side who would take these positions, and today virtually all the candidates for president of the Democratic Party have been so progressive.
‘I don’t know what progressive means. But they are in a place where some of the American public but it remains to be seen if it’s where the majority of the electoral public is.’
Bloomberg made a similar argument in 2016, talking about the North Carolina anti-transgender rights law.
Bloomberg said: ‘If you want to know if somebody is a good salesman, give him the job of going to the Midwest and picking a town and selling to that town the concept that some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with their daughter.’
And he has said people in prisons should be put segregated according to their genitals, rather than what gender they identify as. In fact, trans prisoners often face violence when this is done.
Bloomberg’s promises on LGBT+ rights
Buzzfeed, which broke the story about his March 2019 comments, questioned Team Bloomberg about them. They didn’t reply directly but referred to his LGBT+ election commitments.
His ‘LGBTQ+ Equality’ platform promises to reverse Trump’s policies that have undermined protections for LGBT+ people.
It says: ‘Mike will reverse President Trump’s attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans, resume the march towards equal rights and protections in every part of the country, and restore America’s leadership in the global fight for LGBTQ+ equality.’
The campaign particularly recognizes there is currently ‘a crisis of violence against transgender people, especially trans women of color’.
And Bloomberg promises to ‘fight to pass the Equality Act’.
On trans rights in particular, the platform pledges: ‘Mike will expand health coverage through a Medicare-like public option, ensure coverage of gender-affirming care…’
The video Team Bloomberg wants you to see this week champions the former mayor as an ally of ‘LGBTQ+ youth’.
In the video designer Isaac Mizrahi says: ‘Mike is so incredibly sensitive to this issue. Having lived in New York for the number of years that Mike was mayor, and seeing him enact these incredible programs that helped both the adult LGBTQ population but also the kids.’
Bloomberg likely to be a front-runner
Despite this, many political pundits in the US predict Bloomberg will be a front-runner for the Democratic nomination. And some believe he is the candidate best-placed to unseat President Trump in November.
Bloomberg is famous as a businessman, the founder of Bloomberg LP, billionaire and former mayor of New York City.
As of February 2020, he is the ninth richest person in the US and 12th richest in the world. Experts estimate his net worth is $61.8 billion.
His party affiliation has changed multiple times. He was originally a Democrat, before switching to the Republicans to run for NYC mayor. He held that post for three terms. Then he became an Independent before again switching back to the Democrats again in 2018.
Bloomberg only announced he is running for president in November last year. So he was too late to be part of the Iowa caucus or New Hampshire primary. That has allowed fellow-candidates Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders to take an early lead.
However, with his spending power and reputation, he’s likely to make big inroads in the coming months.