In a video from 2019, Democratic
presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York
City, is seen describing transgender people as “it” and “some
guy in a dress.”
The video surfaced this week as the
Bloomberg campaign released a video featuring out fashion designer
Isaac Mizrahi promoting Bloomberg's “sensitivity” on the issue of
Bloomberg made the comments at a forum
hosted by the Bermuda Business Development Agency in Manhattan. He
was not a presidential candidate at the time.
“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 said. “They
care about health care, they care about education, they care about
safety, and all of those kinds of things.”
“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
are so progressive. I don’t know what progressive means.”
The video was posted on YouTube shortly
after the March event but received little attention.
In response to an inquiry from
a spokesperson for the candidate released a statement.
“Mike understands that the
transgender community has been under attack for decades and the
advance of rights has not been equal. In April 2002, during his first
year as mayor, Mike signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill
into law. His company provides comprehensive health care coverage for
his transgender employees. As president, he has a comprehensive plan
to secure rights for transgender Americans, including passing the
Equality Act, ensuring transgender people have access to affirming
health care and working to end the crisis of violence against
transgender women. Mike is running to defeat Donald Trump and reverse
the many policies he has implemented that attack the rights of the
transgender community,” the person said.
Bloomberg has made similar comments in
the past. In 2016, he said that a good salesperson can sell “the
concept that some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with
their daughter” to Midwest voters.
Bloomberg entered the crowded
Democratic field late and made a splash by spending $400 million of
his own money on ads. His poll numbers among Democrats have climbed
enough to qualify him for today's Democratic debate in Nevada.