Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg Plays Dumb About All the Criticism of His Stop-and-Frisk Support

He reversed position only as he decided to run for president and now seems surprised he’s getting asked about it.

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The decline and collapse of Kamala Harris' presidential ambitions should serve as a lesson that Democratic presidential candidates shouldn't try to paper over a history of harsh practices in the criminal justice arena.

But never mind, here's former New York mayor and self-funding Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg trying to act as though criticism of his stop-and-frisk policy is a brand new thing that just came up because he's running for president:

In that clip from CBS This Morning, Gayle King notes that there's some suspicion about how sincere Bloomberg really was when he apologized for his city's stop-and-frisk searches, which heavily targeted minority citizens but rarely uncovered the contraband drugs or guns used to justify them. Bloomberg responds that "nobody asked me about it until I started running for president."

This, of course, is utter nonsense. Bloomberg hasn't just been criticized for New York's stop-and-frisk policy; the city was sued over it. Even as he was doing some initial groundwork for his presidential run, he was still defending the policy. Just a year ago—in response to, yes, people asking him about it—he was still insisting that it helped lower crime rates in New York City, even though there's little data to back up this claim, and even though crime continued to fall after the practice ended.

One federal judge ruled that these warrantless dragnet searches based on no probable cause were unconstitutional. Does Bloomberg want is to believe that no one at any point in that process "asked me about it"?

The reality is that Bloomberg himself only reversed his position right before announcing his run for president. That's why his sincerity is being questioned. His entire history as mayor and everything he said on the subject up until last month made it clear that he believed his stop-and-frisk policy was a good idea—facts, criticism, and judicial rulings be damned.

He does indeed acknowledge now that crime has kept falling even after New York City ended these spot searches. He sees this as a "mark of an intelligent, competent person when they make a mistake, they have the guts to stand up and say 'I made a mistake, I'm sorry.'" But he still doesn't seem to acknowledge the deeper issues at play. The policy was intrusive, racist, and unconstitutional, but hey, the mayor meant well.

Nor has he learned the broader lesson here: that there are problems that cannot be solved by heavily policing the populace. The relentless nanny inside Bloomberg is still fully in charge. So he'll be more than happy to go after gun owners (he immediately tries to deflect criticism by pivoting to an attack on the National Rifle Association), and he will doubtlessly keep wanting to use the government to control our private decisions. And if he keeps making the wrong choices on our behalf? He meant well, and maybe the next time he runs for office he'll apologize about it.

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  1. Fortunately, he’s a Democrat so he can just say he identifies as a woman of color and claim it’s racist and sexist to bring up his past the same as Kamala.

    1. Well, it’s certainly not exactly true to say that he “reversed position” on this delicate matter. It’s always good to admit error, but at the same time it’s also important to keep as many criminal elements as possible off the streets. At any rate, it is indeed surprising that the mayor gets asked about such a relatively minor manner–he would far prefer receiving questions, for example, about the important role he may have played in keeping our streets, as well as the minds of our youth, safe by securing the conviction of our nation’s leading criminal “satirist.” See the documentation at:

      https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  2. “he will doubtlessly keep wanting to use the government to control our private decisions”

    Not when it comes to accessing abortion care, however. And as Koch / Reason libertarians, if there’s one thing we stand for ……. well, OK, it’s making billionaires even richer.

    But if there are two things we stand for, the second is keeping abortion legal, for any reason, throughout all 3 trimesters. And Bloomberg’s pro-choice credentials are immaculate.

    #LibertariansForBloomberg

    1. LEARN CODING!!!

    2. What about open borders? You forgot open borders.

  3. //Nor has he learned the broader lesson here: that there are problems that cannot be solved by heavily policing the populace. The relentless nanny inside Bloomberg is still fully in charge.//

    This was certainly the most annoying part of his time as mayor. He has alienated both the right and the left.

    Seems to me that Bloomberg jumped into the race solely as a fallback the account for a scenario where Biden drops out and the Democrats need another “safe, moderate, white guy” to pick up the slack.

    1. As baffling as it is, Uncle Joe actually has people who like him and want to vote for him. I can’t explain it, but it’s true.

      Bloomberg wasn’t even popular in NYC. If his level of nannying can’t get over in one of the bluest places in the country, how on earth does the DNC think he’ll fly elsewhere?

    2. What was annoying about stop, question and frisk?
      The complaints were that thousands of young black and brown men were jailed over it.
      What were they jailed for?
      Why, being illegally in possession of a gun.
      Isn’t it the mantra that “we need to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them”?
      Sounds like it was a major success for the crowd, that wants that.
      But that crowd hates Bloomberg for that success.

  4. That he owns a media conglomerate that will not negatively cover any Democrat is more of a problem, IMO.

    1. Media bias towards Democrats is the only thing that isnt considered by Democrats to be an in kind contribution at this point.

      1. Don’t point it out! It’s an insurance policy. If Bloomberg, or Biden, or any other Democrat is elected in 2020, then we can use the Bloomberg news scandal as a ground for impeachment.

  5. OK, I guess I don’t really understand political parties.
    The Democrats HATE billionaires.
    Bloomberg is a billionaire.
    HOW does he get to run as a democrat?
    Can Trump just say he is running a a democrat?
    Are there any rules at all about protecting the ‘brand image’ of a political party?
    Are all parties REQUIRED to let any damn fool run as a candidate of that party?
    W
    T
    F
    ?

    1. Could Trump run as BOTH Democrat and Republican?

      That would be untoppable.

      Aside from that, Bloomberg is telling the truth. The trick (there’s always a trick with politicians) is that he began running for President a zillion years ago.

    2. Michael Bloomberg
      _ Democrat until 2001
      _ Republican 2001-2008,
      _ Independent 2008-2018,
      _ Democrat 2018-to present.

      Donald Trump
      _ Democrat until 1987
      _ Republican 1987–1999
      _ Reform 1999–2001
      _ Democrat 2001–2009
      _ Republican 2009–2011
      _ Independent 2011–2012
      _ Republican 2012 to present

      Basicly Trump and Bloomberg are New York Billionaires.
      That’s the consistency.

  6. Good Lord. Yet another authoritarian asshole.

    1. He’d be better on immigration than Orange Hitler though. Probably shut down the concentration camps on his first day in office.

      #DemocratsDontCageKids

      1. Yeah he probably would be better than Trump on immigration. Hard to imagine he’d be worse. Still an authoritarian asshole though.

    2. Well, he IS a Democrat…

      1. Michael Bloomberg
        _ Democrat until 2001
        _ Republican 2001-2008,
        _ Independent 2008-2018,
        _ Democrat 2018-to present.

        Donald Trump
        _ Democrat until 1987
        _ Republican 1987–1999
        _ Reform 1999–2001
        _ Democrat 2001–2009
        _ Republican 2009–2011
        _ Independent 2011–2012
        _ Republican 2012 to present

        Basicly Trump and Bloomberg are New York Billionaires.
        That’s the consistency.

  7. “Nor has he learned the broader lesson here: that there are problems that cannot be solved by heavily policing the populace.”

    Can’t this really be said about ALL of the Dem candidates and some of the GOP pols?

    1. I have to check if reason has critized republicans for the same actions? They seem to be in favor of heavily policing the monority population.

      Remember stop & frisk was started by Rudy giuliani.

  8. Bloomberg responds that “nobody asked me about it until I started running for president.”

    This, of course, is utter nonsense.

    “Well, nobody of *consequence*.”

    1. He’s been running for President for a zillion years. It just wasn’t public until now.

    2. Considering that, in his own mind, Bloomberg has been running for President for years now, his statement may in that narrow sense be technically true.

  9. Hey, at least Bloomberg is finally being honest and running as a Dem; instead of pretending to be a Republican. Might be the first honest moment of his political career.

  10. So he’ll be more than happy to go after gun owners (he immediately tries to deflect criticism by pivoting to an attack on the National Rifle Association)…

    Hopefully he goes full Beto on this sooner rather than later so we don’t have to endure much of his campaign.

    1. Isn’t that the same deflection tactic Harvey Weinstein used when his sexual misconduct came to light?

      1. Attacking NRA is the first and last refuge of a scoundrel.
        Ask Joseph B. Tydings how that worked out.

  11. He’s not playing.

    1. Beat me to it.

    2. He’s learning from trump.

  12. Of all the major party candidates for president, Bloomberg is the only one I consider to actually be evil. Corruption is one thing. Even Warren’s authoritarianism doesn’t go that far. Bloomberg thinks he should have the right to control people below his social class like nobody else does.

    1. he looks like one of the reptile aliens in a suit

    2. Hmm. Warren vs Bloomberg on the evil scale. Warren hasn’t had an opportunity to impose her evil as an excutive yet so I’m gonna call a draw at this point.

  13. you wanna believe a dude who made a billion dollars isn’t a moron but Michael Bloomberg

  14. Are these the same ones started by Rudy giuliani?

  15. People in high crime communities asked for and got stop and frisk. No CC allowed in NYC so they can’t protect themselves. Bummer for everyone all around. He’s a perfect nannie kind of guy. Spoon feeding everybody crazy drivel.

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