September 27, 2019

Michael Bloomberg

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg joins Firing Line to discuss House Democrats’ decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into Pres. Trump. Bloomberg talks about two of his signature issues, gun safety and climate change, and explains how he sees businesses working alongside government to address global threats. He explains why he isn’t running for president in 2020, and weighs in on the field.

Read Full Transcript EXPAND

> HE’S A BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN AND POLITICIAN WHO WILL BE A MAJOR FORCE IN 2020.
THIS WEEK ON ‘FIRING LINE.’

I’VE DEVOTED MY LIFE AND NET WORTH TO TRYING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

HE’S NO LONGER THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, BUT MICHAEL BLOOMBERG IS STILL BANKING ON HIS POLITICAL CAPITAL.

HE GAVE 1.8 BILLION —
POURING MILLIONS INTO DEMOCRATIC RACES AND CAUSES AND MAKING HIS CASE FOR BUSINESSES TO STEP IN DURING THIS ERA OF POLARIZATION.

NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BUY A GUN WITHOUT PASSING A BACKGROUND CHECK, PERIOD.

MANY THOUGHT MICHAEL BLOOMBERG WOULD RUN AGAINST ANOTHER NEW YORK CITY BILLIONAIRE THAT HE’S KNOWN FOR DECADES.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS, TRUMP IS A RISKY, RECKLESS AND RADICAL CHOICE AND WE CAN’T AFFORD TO MAKE THAT CHOICE.

WHAT DOES MICHAEL BLOOMBERG SAY NOW?

Announcer: ‘FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER’ IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE MARGARET AND DANIEL LOEB FOUNDATION.
ADDITIONAL FUNDING IS PROVIDED BY — CORPORATE FUNDING IS PROVIDED BY STEPHENS INC.

WELCOME TO FIRING LINE, MAYOR BLOOMBERG.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

I FIRST HAVE TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS THIS WEEK, SPEAKER PELOSI HAS CHANGED COURSE AND HAS CALLED FOR AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY INTO PRESIDENT TRUMP.
DO YOU SUPPORT THIS ACTION?

I THINK CONGRESS HAS AN OBLIGATION TO INVESTIGATE LEGITIMATE CLAIMS OF IMPROPRIETY OR MALFEASANCE OR WHATEVER AND THIS PROBABLY DOES GET TO THAT STANDARD.
I WILL SAY I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT WE SHOULD ALLOW THE PUBLIC TO DECIDE WHETHER A PRESIDENT STAYS IN OFFICE.
THAT’S WHAT ELECTIONS ARE ALL ABOUT.
WE GOT AN ELECTION COMING UP IN A YEAR AND A HALF AND IMPEACHMENT, EVEN IF IT GETS THROUGH THE HOUSE, IT’S NEVER GOING TO GET THROUGH THE SENATE.
SO YOU’RE GOING TO BE IN THE SAME SITUATION WHEN CLINTON WAS IMPEACHED BUT STAYED IN OFFICE.
TRUMP THROUGH THIS WOULD STAY IN OFFICE.
LOOK, I DIDN’T SUGGEST THAT WE VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP.
I GAVE A SPEECH SAYING I DID NOT THINK HE WAS THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB AND I HAVE DISAGREED WITH HIM MANY, MANY TIMES.
BUT NEVERTHELESS, IT SHOULDN’T BE A PARTISAN ISSUE.
IT’S A POLITICAL ISSUE.
THAT’S WHAT IMPEACHMENT IS.
IT’S A POLITICAL THING AND I WOULD RATHER LET US LOOK AT WHOEVER THE NEXT PRESIDENT SHOULD BE BASED ON WHAT THEY’VE ACCOMPLISHED AND HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE I HAVE THEY WILL DO SOMETHING IN THE FUTURE.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON WROTE —
I HAVEN’T TALKED TO HIM RECENTLY.

1788, BUT THE IDEA THAT IMPEACHMENT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAY, IT IS AN INHERENTLY POLITICAL ACT.
IT DIVIDES THE COUNTRY ALONG THE LINES OF PREDICTABLE FACTION AND THE OUTCOME IS AN ADMINISTRATION OF POLITICAL STRENGTH RATHER THAN JUSTICE.

YES, I’M NOT SURE I WOULD BE ABLE TO PROTEDICT WHAT IT’S GOI TO BE.

IS PURSUING AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION?

I THINK AT SOME POINT IN TIME PELOSI HAS AN OBLIGATION TO INVESTIGATE AND SHE DIDN’T RECOMMEND IMPEACHMENT.
SHE RECOMMENDED A STUDY OF WHETHER OR NOT THERE MIGHT BE AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE.
LET’S SEE WHAT THIS STUDY SHOWS.

THE TRANSCRIPT, THE SO-CALLED TRANSCRIPT WHICH IS A MEMORANDUM THAT TRANSCRIBES THE ESSENCE OF THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINE AND PRESIDENT TRUMP — ACCORDING TO THE TRANSCRIPT, PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID THERE IS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT BIDEN’S SON, THAT BIDEN STOPPED THE PROSECUTION AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT TO FIND OUT ABOUT THAT.
WHATEVER YOU CAN DO WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WOULD BE GREAT.
BIDEN WENT AROUND BRAGGING THAT HE STOPPED THE PROSECUTION.
IF YOU CAN LOOK INTO IT, IT SOUNDS HORRIBLE TO ME.

THERE’S TWO ISSUES HERE, WHAT TRUMP WILL TRY TO MAKE IT IS BIDEN DID SOMETHING WRONG.
WHAT THE DEMOCRATS WILL TRY TO MAKE IT IS THAT THE PRESIDENT DID SOMETHING WRONG.
THAT WILL PROVIDE FODDER FOR BOTH LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE COLUMNISTS FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.
GREAT, I KNOW WHAT WE’RE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT.
THEN WE’LL HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER ZB .
YOU SUPPORTED 24 CANDIDATES, 19 SEAT THAT IS YOU FLIPPED.
IS THIS HOW YOU WANT TO SEE THOSE NEW MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SPENDING THE NEXT YEAR IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES?

I’D PREFER THAT THEY FOCUSED ON THE SERIOUS ISSUES FACING THE COUNTRY, HAVING SAID THAT I WORKED VERY HARD AND GAVE A LOT OF MONEY TO FLIP THE HOUSE BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN HOUSE WAS NOT GIVING THE OVERSIGHT THAT I THINK THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES THEM TO DO.
I WASN’T MAKING A JUDGMENT ABOUT WHAT THAT OVERSIGHT WOULD BE AND WHAT THEIR CONCLUSIONS WOULD BE.

WE’RE HERE AT THE GLOBAL BUSINESS FORUM AND ONE OF THE TOPICS YOU ARE MOST FOCUSED ON IS CLIMATE CHANGE.

YES.

AND HOW BUSINESSES CAN STEP INTO THE FRAY AND HELP FILL THE VOID WHERE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR GOVERNMENTS ARE NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADDRESSING THE CLIMATE CRISIS.

BUSINESSES FILL THE VOID, THE PUBLIC FILLS THE VOID.
IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU HAD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALONG WITH YOU, BUT I THINK WE’VE SHOWN BY CLOSING 297 OUT OF 530 POWER PLANTS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, WE’VE BEEN CLOSING POWER PLANTS AT THE SAME RATE WHEN TRUMP WAS PRESIDENT THAN WHEN OBAMA WAS ELECTED.
IT SAYS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN HELP AND HURT.

IS THAT WHAT YOU MEAN BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ISN’T ALL THAT IMPORTANT WHEN IT COMES TO THE BATTLE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

YES.
COMPANIES DO WHAT’S IN THEIR OWN INTERESTS, WHAT THEIR STOCKHOLDERS TELL THEM, WHAT THEIR EMPLOYEES TELL THEM, WHAT THEIR CUSTOMERS TELL THEM, THEY WILL DO IT.
THAT’S THE INCENTIVES FOR THEM TO DO IT, FOR INDIVIDUALS, IT IS I WANT TO LIVE LONGER, SO I WANT TO BREATHE CLEANER AIR AND DRINK CLEANER WATER AND THAT SORT OF THINGS.
I WANT TO HAVE BETTER SCHOOLS FOR MY KIDS, A LOWER ENERGY BILL AND THAT’S WHAT DRIVES THEM.
AND FILL LAN TROE PI HAS ITS POSITION.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, YOU HAVE TO STOP AND SAY WHAT WAS THEIR INCENTIVE.
I CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS THIS INTEREST IN ROLLING BACK THINGS THAT ANY PERSON WITH ANY COMMON SENSE WOULD SAY, GOOD, FOR THE COUNTRY AND GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT WORLDWIDE, BUT ALSO HAS ALREADY BEEN IMPLEMENTED AND BUSINESSES DON’T WANT THEM TO ROLL IT BACK.
WHY ARE THEY DOING THAT?
IT MAKES NO SENSE.
I GUESS FOR POLITICS OR SPORT, WHO KNOWS.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE COST.
ONE OF YOUR GOALS IS TO CLOSE EVERY COAL-POWERED POWER PLANT —
WE’LL SPEND A LOT OF MONEY.
IT GETS HARDER TO DO THE MORE MODERN POWER PLANTS THAT ARE SOMEWHAT CLEANER.

WHAT ENDS UP HAPPENING TO THE COST OF ENERGY IN THE MEANTIME?

COST OF ENERGY IS GOING TO GO DOWN.
RENEWABLES HAVE ENORMOUS POTENTIAL AND THEY’RE ALREADY AT THE SAME PRICE WITHOUT GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES, THEY’RE ALREADY CHEEAPER THAN THE FOSSI FUELS AND THE TECHNOLOGY IS THERE AND IT’S WORKING.
WE ARE MAKING VERY BIG PROGRESS ON THAT.
THE COST OF ENERGY WILL CONTINUE TO COME DOWN.

SO THE UNITED STATES CURRENTLY ACCOUNTS FOR ABOUT 15% OF GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.
CHINA ACCOUNTS FOR ROUGHLY 30% OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.
HOW DO WE — EVEN IF WE GET TO NET ZERO, HOW DO YOU GET CHINA, INDIA AND THE OTHER COUNTRIES TO BE GOOD PARTNERS —
CHINA IS DOING A LOT.
YES, THEY’RE STILL BUILDING A LOT OF COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS —
AND THEY’RE STILL BURNING COAL.

YES, THEY ARE, BUT THEY’RE NOW MOVING PLANTS AWAY FROM THE CITIES.
THE COMMUNIST PARTY WANTS TO STAY IN POWER IN CHINA AND THEY LISTEN TO THE PUBLIC.
WHEN THE PUBLIC SAYS I CAN’T BREATHE THE AIR, XI JINGPING IS NOT A DICTATOR, HE HAS TO SATISFY HIS CONSTITUENTS OR HE’S NOT GOING TO SURVIVE.

HE’S NOT A DICTATOR?

NO.
HE HAS A CONSTITUENCY TO ANSWER TO.

HE DOESN’T HAVE A VOTE.
HE DOESN’T HAVE A DEMOCRACY.
HE’S NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE BY VOTERS.

IF HIS —
IS THE CHECK ON HIM JUST A REVOLUTION?

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE A REVOLUTION.
NO GOVERNMENT SURVIVES WITHOUT THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY OF ITS PEOPLE.
OKAY?

THE COMMUNIST PARTY LOOKS FOR RUSSIA AND THEY LOOK FOR WHERE THE COMMUNIST PARTY IS, AND THEY DON’T FIND IT ANYMORE.
HE IS MAKING CHANGES.
IT WOULD BE BETTER IF CHINA DID MORE.
IT WOULD BE MUCH BETTER IF INDIA DID MORE.

WOULD THAT MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN A HUNDRED YEARS TO —
LET’S ASSUME IT DOESN’T.
BUT IF YOU GIVE ME FROM 50 — ANOTHER 50 YEARS TO LIVE, I’LL TAKE THAT.
IF WE CAN’T DO A SOLUTION FOREVER TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM, DOESN’T MEAN WE SHOULDN’T TRY.

I DON’T THINK ANYBODY IS SAYING THE UNITED STATES SHOULDN’T TRY IF CHINA DOESN’T MEET US THERE.
WE NEED TO DO OUR PART.
BUT HOW DO WE GET THESE FOREIGN PARTNERS TO DO —
YOU LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
IF WE CAN SHOW WE CAN DO IT — THEIR PEOPLE CAN GO TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SAY, IF AMERICA CAN DO IT, WHY CAN’T WE DO IT.

THE IDEA THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS RESPONSIVE —
OF COURSE THEY ARE.

I’M LOOKING AT THE PEOPLE IN HONG KONG AND PROTESTING —
GO BACK AND READ THE PRESS, THE DAYS WHEN YOU HAVE BIG POLLUTION IN BEIJING AND THEY’RE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
THAT’S RIDICULOUS.
THEY ARE VERY RESPONSIVE TO IT.
THE TROUBLE IS, YOU CAN’T OVERNIGHT MOVE CEMENT PLANTS AND POWER PLANTS JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY THAT ARE POLLUTING THE AIR AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE THEIR PRODUCT.
SO SOME OF IT TAKES TIME AND THERE’S ALWAYS IN GOVERNMENT, EVEN GOVERNMENTS THAT AREN’T WHAT WE WAOULD CALL A DEMOCRACY —
THIS IS WHAT’S INTERESTING ABOUT INDIA, YOU WERE ON WITH PRIME MINISTER MODI, HE UNDERSTANDS THE PROBLEM OF CLIMATE CHANGE, YOU ALL SPOKE ABOUT IT.
HE’S MET WITH THIS TENSION OF HOW TO BRING HIS POPULATION INTO MAJORITY —
IF YOU KEPT REDUCING THE COST OF ENERGY GENERATED BY RENEWABLES AND IN INDIA THERE’S A BUNCH OF IT WHERE IT IS CHEAPER THAN IN THE SURROUNDING COUNTRIES, YOU WILL LET CAPITALISM TAKE OVER AND THEY WILL CLOSE BRAND-NEW POWER PLANTS IF THEY COULD BUILD ONE NEXT DOOR THAT IS MUCH MORE EFFICIENT.

THERE’S AN IDEA THAT CONSERVATIVES CAN’T POSSIBLY BE ENVIRONMENTALISTS.

I HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT’S THE CASE.
CONSERVATIVES WILL BE ENVIRONMENTALISTS IF THEY THINK BEING PROENVIRONMENT PROVIDES A BENEFIT THAT OUTWEIGHS THEIR BELIEF THAT, OH, GOVERNMENT SHOULD NEVER BE INVOLVED IN ANYTHING.
WHICH IS RIDICULOUS.

I AGREE WITH YOU.
IN 1969 HE HAD THIS TO SAY ABOUT WHY CONSERVATIVES WOULD BE ENVIRONMENTALISTS.

THIS QUESTION IS ALSO CLOSELY CONNECTED WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS OF THE URBAN SPRAWL OF POLLUTION OF THE AIR AND INLAND WATERWAYS.
HOW THESE PROBLEMS WILL BE HANDLED SHORT OF TREMENDOUS GOVERNMENT CONTROL, I DO NOT SEE.
AND I HAVE HEARD NOTHING, UNFORTUNATELY, FROM THE CONSERVATIVES ABOUT THOSE PROBLEMS.

I HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD IT TO BE A TENANT OF THE CONSERVATIVE FAITH THAT ONE HAS A RIGHT TO POLLUTE AN ATMOSPHERE OF WHICH IS A COMMON PROPERTY.
AND SO I THINK THAT CONSERVATIVE THEORY CAN VERY EASILY COPE WITH THAT PARTICULAR PROBLEM WHICH MAKES ME MORE OPTIMISTIC.

EVEN THOUGH THEY MEAN CRACKING DOWN ON THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY?

ABSOLUTELY.
IN FACT THEY ALREADY HAVE IN CALIFORNIA.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION JUST LAST WEEK REVOKED A CALIFORNIA WAIVER, WHICH WAS PASSED AT THE TIME THAT WAS ACTUALLY SPOKEN ABOUT IN THIS PROGRAM.

RIGHT.

THEY REVOKED THAT WAIVER.
EPA ADMINISTER ANDREW WHEELER SAID WE EMBRACE FEDERALISM BUT IT DOES NOT MEAN ONE STATE CAN DICTATE THE STANDARDS FOR A NATION.

IF YOU’RE A CONSERVATIVE, I WOULDN’T THINK YOU WOULD WANT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DICTATE RULES FOR ALL 50 STATES.
THE PROBLEM IS, WE REALLY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MONEY STANDARD FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY BECAUSE IT’S GOOD FOR INDUSTRY.
CITY WANTS STRONG REGULATION, OKAY?
THEY DON’T WANT WEAK REGULATION BECAUSE THEN THEY GET EACH STATE DOING DIFFERENT.
THE PEOPLE IN CALIFORNIA WANT THE HIGHER STANDARDS.
THERE’S NOTHING THAT BUCKLEY SAID THAT I DISAGREED WITH.

WHY IS CLIMATE CHANGE BECOME SUCH A PARTISAN ISSUE THEN?

I’M NOT EVEN SURE IT IS.
IT’S BECOME ALL OF A SUDDEN WE HAVE THIS CONFERENCE HERE AND ALL WE TALK ABOUT IS CLIMATE CHANGE.

IN THE LAST WEEK OR SO, NEW NATIONAL POLLS HAVE COME OUT THAT HAVE CHANGED — SUGGESTED CHANGING THE TREND IN THE 2020 RACE WHERE ELIZABETH WARREN HAS EMERGED AS A TOP TIER CANDIDATE AND JOE BIDEN’S NUMBERS ARE WEAKENING, BUT THE TWO OF THEM REMAIN IN THE TOP TIER.
ELIZABETH WARREN HAS RAILED AGAINST ULTRA MILLIONAIRES.
YOU HAVE CALLED HER TAX PROBABLY —
A WEALTH TAX.

HER MEDICARE FOR ALL PROPOSAL IS —
DOESN’T WORK.

IF THERE IS A PROGRESSIVE WHO’S LEADING THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD, WILL THERE BE AN OPENING IF JOE BIDEN IS NOT ABLE TO GO THE DISTANCE FOR SOMEBODY OF A MORE MODERATE BENT TO STEP INTO THE RACE?

IT WOULD BE VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FROM NOW GOING FORWARD FOR ANYBODY TO COME IN IF THEY HAD TO RAISE MONEY.
THEY WOULD NEVER REMOTELY CATCH UP TO ELIZABETH WARREN AND JOE BIDEN.
LET’S NOT RUSH TO JUDGMENT.
JOE BIDEN GOING FROM 20 POINTS OVER ELIZABETH WARREN TO TIED WITH ELIZABETH WARREN OVERNIGHT IN ONE POLL IS SUSPICION.

BUT THERE ARE THREE POLL AND IS THERE’S A TREND.
AND YOU KNOW A LOT ABOUT POLLING.

POLLING IN A MACRO SENSE WORKS IF YOU HAVE GOOD POLLSTERS.

ARE YOU POLLING RIGHT NOW?

NO.

WILL YOU GO ON THE FIELD SOON?

NO, WE DON’T HAVE ANY PLANS.
WE DID.
OF COURSE I WOULD LOOK TO SEE.
I THINK IT WOULD BE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY — THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES I THINK 12 YEARS PEOPLE THINK I DID A GOOD JOB.
I’M SUPERPLEASED ABOUT THAT, OBVIOUSLY.
COULD I DO A GOOD JOB AS PRESIDENT?
NOBODY REALLY KNOWS THAT.
I CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE WITH MY COMPANY, BUT YOU CAN HAVE MORE DIFFERENCE AS A LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.
BUT THE POLLS SAID I’M TOO MODERATE FOR THE LIKELY VOTERS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY AND SO I COULD NOT WIN.
AND JOE IN ALL FAIRNESS WOULD BE SOMEWHAT SIMILAR, CERTAINLY MORE SIMILAR TO MY VIEWS THAN ELIZABETH WARREN IS.
AND I JUST SAID, LOOK, YOU GOT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU CAN DO AND WHAT YOU CAN’T DO AND MAKE A DECISION AND LIVE WITH THE DECISION.

THERE’S STILL A LITTLE BIT OF WINDOW, THOUGH.
THERE MIGHT BE AN OPENING IN JOE BIDEN’S SLOT IF HE IS WAVERING AND THERE’S A LOT OF CONCERN THAT HE’S NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GO THE DISTANCE.

LOOK, I KNOW JOE BIDEN —
AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO RAISE THE MONEY.

I WON’T HAVE TO RAISE MONEY.
JOE BIDEN IS A PRINCIPLED GUY.
HE WAS A GOOD VICE PRESIDENT.
HE HAS IDEAS AND HE’S A CREDIBLE CANDIDATE.
I THINK YOU CAN SAY THE SAME THING ABOUT ELIZABETH WARREN.
SHE’S GENUINE, SHE’S SMART, SHE’S VERY WELL PREPARED AND SHE’S A GOOD CAMPAIGNER AND HAS AN ENTHUSIASM WHEN SHE GETS UP ON THE STAGE AND, YOU KNOW —
YOU THINK YOU HAVE UNTIL NOVEMBER TO STILL CONSIDER IT.

NOVEMBER WOULD GET TO BE PRETTY HARD TO DO.
I DON’T KNOW.
IF JOE BIDEN WERE TO MAKE A DECISION TODAY, WHICH HE’S NOT GOING TO DO, YOU WOULD HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT, I SUPPOSE, BUT THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

YOU’RE HERE AT THE BLOOMBERG GLOBAL BUSINESS FORUM.
YOU’RE HOSTING THIS FORUM WITH HEADS OF STATE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY WEEK.
IT HAS BEEN RUMORED THAT YOU CONSIDERED POTENTIALLY BEING A SECRETARY OF STATE — IN A CONSIDERATION POTENTIALLY IN A HILLARY CLINTON —
NEVER.

— PRESIDENCY, THAT WAS REPORTED.
IS THERE ANY — THAT WAS REPORTED THAT YOU WOULD CONSIDER IT IF YOU WERE ASKED.
IS THERE ANY CIRCUMSTANCE WHERE MIKE BLOOMBERG WOULD CONSIDER BEING — SERVING AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE?

I CAN’T IMAGINE ANY PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ASKING SOMEBODY WHO’S NEVER WORKED FOR ANYBODY FOR THE LAST 35 YEARS TO COME IN AND GO AND BE THE MESSENGER FOR A FOREIGN POLICY THAT COMES OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND THEY’RE SITTING IN FOGGY BOTTOM, NO, I WOULDN’T DO IT, AND NOBODY WOULD WANT ME TO DO IT.
I’VE NEVER HAD A DISCUSSION ABOUT THAT.
I’VE HEARD RUMORS YOU WANT TO BE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE.
I HAPPEN TO BE FRIENDS WITH JIM MATTIS.
THAT MIGHT BE FUN FOR A DAY, BUT, NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M GOING TO DO.

NOT ENERGY EITHER?

WE KNOW THAT YOU’LL CAMPAIGN AND HELP EXPENDITURES WITH RESPECT TO GUNS IN 2020.

ONE OF MY ISSUES, IN FACT THE 24 PEOPLE THAT WE SUPPORTED, # 1 HAVE WON, I LOOKED AT THEIR POSITIONS ON GUNS AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO AGREE WITH EVERY POSITION EVERYBODY HAS.
YOU HAVE TO CHECK ALL THE BOXES, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT.
THOSE ARE TWO IMPORTANT ISSUES, THAT’S THE BASIS ON WHICH WE PICK THE 24 PEOPLE TO SUPPORT AND I CERTAINLY EXPECT THEM TO DO WHAT THEY SAID AND THEY’LL PROBABLY COME AROUND LOOKING FOR MONEY AND IT’S A BUSINESS WHERE YOU GOT TO RAISE MONEY EVERY TWO YEARS.
WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

I WANT TO GET YOUR REACTION TO BETO O’ROURKE IN THE LAST DEMOCRATIC DEBATE SAID ESSENTIALLY WHAT GUN OWNERS ACROSS AMERICA FEAR.

I MET THE MOTHER OF A 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO WAS SHOT BY AN AR-15.
AND THAT MOTHER WATCHED HER BLEED TO DEATH IN THE COURSE OF THE HOUR BECAUSE SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE WERE SHOT, THERE WEREN’T ENOUGH AMBULANCES TO GET TO THEM IN TIME.
HELL, YES, WE’RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR AR-15, YOUR AK-47, WE’RE NOT GOING TO ALLOW IT TO BE USED AGAINST FELLOW AMERICANS ANYMORE.

THAT’S WHY I WON’T BE A CANDIDATE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BECAUSE IT’S SO IMPRACTICAL — I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU’D EVEN DO IT, AND IT WOULD BE SUCH A RALLYING CRY FOR PEOPLE TO SAY THEY’RE OVERSTEPPING THEIR BOUNDS.
WHAT WE SHOULD DO IS —
YOU’RE SAYING THAT’S NOT THE WAY TO WIN THIS ISSUE IN 2020 —
NOT IS NOT THE WAY TO WIN THIS ISSUE.
FIRST THING, AK-47s SHOULD NOT BE IN THE HANDS OF INDIVIDUALS.
THEY’RE GUNS BUILT NOT FOR HUNTING.
THEY’RE BUILT TO KILL THE MAXIMUM NUMBER PEOPLE AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN AND WE SHOULDN’T HAVE THEM.
SO YOU CAN GO AFTER THE GUN MANUFACTURERS AND GET THEM TO STOP IT.
BUT HOW YOU WOULD GO AND GET THOSE BACK OUT OF THE — YOU HAVE MASSACRES EVERY SINGLE DAY.
AND PEOPLE DON’T THINK ABOUT IT.
BUT HIS IDEA IS SO IMPRACTICAL —
AND THE FEAR IS IT MOBILIZES THE OPPOSITION.

NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
WHEN BARACK OBAMA WAS PRESIDENT THE GUN MANUFACTURERS WORKED 24/7 AND THEN THE OTHER FACT THAT’S INTERESTING IS, WHILE OBAMA WAS PRESIDENT, THE PERCENTAGE OF HOUSEHOLDS THAT HAD GUNS WENT FROM 25 TO 30.
A THIRD FEWER FAMILIES HAVE GUNS BUT THEY WERE MANUFACTURING THEM 24/7, WHERE DO THE GUNS GO, PEOPLE WITH GUNS TEND TO HAVE MORE GUNS.

AND THE THEORY IS, SOMEBODY IS GOING TO COME TO THE FRONT DOOR, RAPE MY WOMEN AND TAKE MY GUNS.
THAT’S WHAT THEY BELIEVE.
AND TO EXACERBATE IT AND GIVE THEM MORE AMMUNITION JUST ISN’T ALL THAT PRODUCTIVE.

THE LINE IS DIVIDED.

THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO US.
THE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS DON’T EVEN SIT TOGETHER IN THE HOUSE DINING ROOMS ANYMORE.
THEY USED TO COME AND LIVE NEXT TO EACH OTHER AND THE KIDS WENT TO THE SAME SCHOOLS AND SO THEY BUILT RELATIONSHIPS AND YOU ALSO HAD EARMARKS WHICH WAS A VERY USEFUL THING TO RUN THE RAILROAD.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO CONTROL THE HOUSE, YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO HORSE TRADE A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS AND YOU GOT TO GET ENOUGH TOGETHER IN ORDER TO PASS A PIECE OF LEGISLATION.
WE TOOK THAT AWAY AND I REMEMBER THINKING BACK THEN, THAT’S NOT GOOD GOVERNMENT.
THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING ABLE TO MOVE TWO THINGS AROUND, TO HELP PEOPLE OUT WHEN THEY HELP YOU.
THAT’S THE WAY WE — THAT’S THE WAY WE WORK TOGETHER IN OUR SCHOOLS AND IN OUR OFFICES AND IN OUR GOVERNMENTS.

IT WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, BUT CONSERVATIVES WERE MAKING THAT AFTER HAVING SPENT MONEY —
THE REPUBLICANS ARE DEFICIT HAWKS WHEN THEY’RE NOT IN POWER.
BUT WHEN THEY GET THERE — DEMOCRATS ARE EXACTLY REVERSE.
THE LAST TIME WE HAD A SURPLUS WAS WHEN BILL CLINTON WAS PRESIDENT AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT THE PRESIDENT, THE GOVERNOR, THE MAYOR, THOSE ARE MANAGEMENT JOBS AND YOU WANT PEOPLE WITH MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE.
AND I THINK MOST OF THESE PRESIDENTS WE’VE HAD AND MOST OF THE GOVERNORS WE’VE HAD AND MOST OF THE CONGRESS PEOPLE AND SENATORS —
NEVER BEEN EXECUTIVES.

THEY NEVER MANAGED ANYTHING.
AND SO THEY COME UP WITH THESE IDEAS AND SAY, WE’RE GOING TO DO IT.
BUT THAT’S NOT THE REAL WORLD.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY THE GUNS?
DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD VOTE AGAINST THAT.

BUT TRUMP’S A BUSINESSMAN.

NO, HE’S NOT.
AND I SAID THAT WHEN I TALKED AT THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION.
HE’S A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER, NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER, BUT HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT FINANCE, NOTHING ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY, KNEW NOTHING ABOUT DEFENSE, NEVER MANAGED ANYTHING, A SMALL OFFICE OF A HUNDRED PEOPLE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
I’M NOT TAKING ANYTHING AWAY FROM HIM.
BUT I COME BACK TO THESE ARE MANAGEMENT JOBS, YOU HIRE PEOPLE FOR POLICY.
THE MANAGEMENT IS TO SET THE TONE, WORK ETHIC, HOW YOU DEAL WITH PEOPLE, ALL THOSE KINDS OF THINGS AND THAT’S WHERE I DISAGREE WITH DONALD TRUMP.
A LOT OF HIS POLICIES DEMOCRATS AGREE WITH.
I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK WE SHOULD BE VERY PRO IMMIGRATION BUT DECIDE WHO COMES INTO THE COUNTRY RATHER THAN WHO SHOWS UP AT THE BORDER.
I UNDERSTAND WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE THREATENED, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO TAKE THEM ALL IN AND THAT’S I THINK THE GENERAL VIEW OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.
I THINK MOST PEOPLE THINK THAT CHINA WAS NOT BEING FAIR WITH US.
PEOPLE LIKED THE IDEA THAT WE’RE TAKING ON CHINA.
I DON’T THINK WE’RE DOING IT IN THE RIGHT WAY.
IF I WANT SOMETHING FROM YOU, I MIGHT KISS YOU AND ASK FOR A FAVOR.
I WOULDN’T HIT YOU UPSIDE THE HEAD AND ASK YOU FOR A FAVOR AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY IT DOESN’T WORK.
PEOPLE THINK WE SHOULD TALK TO NORTH KOREA.
EVEN IF NOTHING COMES OUT OF IT, BETTER TO TRY AND TALK, HE’S DOING THAT.
YOU KNOW, THERE’S A LOT OF THINGS THAT HE HAS DONE THAT DEMOCRATS ARE IN A FUNNY POSITION BECAUSE THEY CAN’T COME OUT AGAINST THEM, BUT IT’S THE STYLE.

YOU RECENTLY EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT AN OPINION ED EDITORIAL WHICH YOU WROTE ON YOUR OWN SITE.
THE ASSAULT OF FREE SPEECH NOT JUST ON CAMPUS BUT IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND THE PUBLIC SQUARE.

YES.

THE ARGUMENT YOU MAKE IS THAT VIEWPOINT DIVERSITY IS CRITICAL FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY.

NO ARGUMENT ABOUT THAT WHATSOEVER.

WHY?

BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT — YOU GROW UP — YOU START OUT WITH NO KNOWLEDGE.
AS YOU GROW UP, YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT — THERE’S TWO POINTS OF VIEW OR MORE FOR EVERY SINGLE ISSUE AND IF YOU’RE NOT EXPOSED TO ALL OF THE POINTS OF VIEW, HOW DO YOU PICK THE BEST ONE?
AND UNFORTUNATELY ON CAMPUS, WE HAVE TRIGGERS AND SAFE SPACES AND MICROAGGRESSIONS AND THAT SORT OF THING.
YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE FORCED TO RAD ANY LITERATURE YOU DON’T LIKE.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, NOBODY ELSE CAN HEAR IT EITHER.
UNIVERSITIES, PARTICULARLY, BUT EVEN LOWER SCHOOLS, SHOULD BE PLACES WHERE YOU CAN EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS AND HAVE YOUR CLASSMATES SHOOT THEM DOWN OR BUILD THEM UP AND YOU CAN RETHINK IT AND IT’S IN SCHOOL WE MAKE SMALL MISTAKES SO YOU KNOW YOU DON’T MAKE THE BIG MISTAKES WHEN YOU GET OUT.

YOU SAID THE RESTORING THE ABILITY TO DISAGREE WITHOUT BECOME ENEMIES —
YES, AND I THINK THE SCHOOLS HAVE GONE WAY OVERBOARD AND IT’S STARTING TO HAPPEN IN HIGH SCHOOLS —
AND IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE.
MAYOR BLOOMBERG THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING ON ‘FIRING LINE.’
THANK YOU.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

THANK YOU.

Announcer: ‘FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER’ IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE MARGARET AND DANIEL LOEB FOUNDATION.
ADDITIONAL FUNDING IS PROVIDED BY — CORPORATE FUNDING IS PROVIDED BY STEPHENS INC.

YOU’RE WATCHING PBS