Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that he thinks President Donald Trump would “eat alive” his fellow Democratic primary candidates, citing what he says is their lack of relevant experience and preparation for the race.
The comments from Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York whose late entry into the race frustrated some of his rivals who have criticized his billionaire status, came during a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a climate summit in Madrid in which the candidate was asked if he jumped into race because he thinks Trump is currently “winning.”
“I think Trump is getting stronger and I think he would just eat alive the candidates,” Bloomberg said. “Because they don’t have plans that I think are practical, that can be implemented. They don’t have management experience and the President’s job is a management job.”
“This is not a job where you take training wheels, this is the future of the world – the free world,” he added. “And you need people with experience.”
Bloomberg, who has made climate change one of his key issues, told Amanpour that he thinks the issue “should be at the top of” voters’ lists and highlighted how critical it is that substantive action be taken on the issue.
“I think the statistics say you’re right – that particularly young people care,” he said. “It certainly should be at the top of everybody’s list.”
“Climate change has the potential to destroy our planet as we know it … this is really serious stuff and it shouldn’t be a campaign issue,” Bloomberg said, adding that he would’ve thought all aspiring elected officials “would have taken on this issue for a long time.”
But Bloomberg declined on Tuesday to weigh in on former Vice President Joe Biden’s candidacy and how as a moderate he can differentiate himself from Biden.
“I don’t know what he’s going to do,” he said. “I can tell you what I would do if elected.”
“I would put together a team. I would do certain things day one, like rejoining the Paris (climate) agreement. But I would spend the first 100 days building the team,” he said. “It takes a long time to do these things.”
A supporter of impeachment
Bloomberg’s interview with Amanpour took place at the same time that House Democrats were unveiling two articles of impeachment against Trump, one for abuse of power and another for obstruction of Congress. Bloomberg, who previously said the 2020 election is “a better forum” to remove the President than through the impeachment process, on Tuesday called the unfolding events in Washington “very sad for this country” and said that he thinks “the electorate should decide who they’re led by.”
But Bloomberg also said that he would vote in favor of impeachment if he was a member of the House of Representatives, telling Amanpour that “the evidence (against Trump) seems to be serious enough” to do so.
The former mayor also again apologized for the New York Police Department’s use of “stop and frisk,” a policing tactic he strongly supported during and after his time in office. Bloomberg first apologized last month for the tactic, which critics have slammed as racist because it overwhelmingly impacted people of color.
“Look, it was our policy,” he told Amanpour, acknowledging that it was used “too aggressively.” “And I said I’m sorry. I was wrong and I’m sorry. After that, I don’t know what else to tell you.”
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.