Michael Bloomberg says he has "reservations" about 2020 field as he blasts candidate's empty promises

Bloomberg talks 2020 field & impeachment

Last Updated Nov 8, 2019 9:10 AM EST

In October, Michael Bloomberg sat down with CBS News' Margaret Brennan for a wide-ranging interview -- during which he discussed his prospects for the 2020 presidential race. Since their discussion, Bloomberg is now taking steps to formally enter the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, a person familiar with his plans told CBS News.


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, once considered a possible Democratic candidate, had stern words for the current 2020 field of Democratic contenders, saying the Democrats currently running for president are not doing enough to work across the political spectrum to better the country

"I have my reservations about the people running and their campaigning, the promises they're making that they can't fulfill and their willingness to admit what is possible and what isn't and their inconsistency from day to day ... This is not the way to run a railroad," admonished Bloomberg during The Atlantic's "CityLab DC" panel with "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan. 

Michael Bloomberg says he doesn't see 2020 contenders reaching across aisle

He added to a room full of applause, "This country is in real trouble, we need somebody to pull people together and when they say, 'I'm not going to talk to somebody across the aisle,' this is our country. What do you mean you're not going to talk to somebody from across the aisle? We've got to work together and I don't see that."

Bloomberg did not throw his name into the 2020 race despite widespread speculation he'd join the packed Democratic presidential field. He has since thrown millions into more philanthropic endeavors like climate change, gun reform and health care. 

When Brennan previously asked him when he will make an endorsement of a specific candidate, Bloomberg noted there are "15 months" until the election. "Certainly not going to worry about it today," he said. He made similar comments on Monday, saying his comments in March haven't changed.

"So you're kind of closing the door?" Brennan asked Monday. "Well I didn't say that," Bloomberg responded coyly. The former mayor confirmed that he would be voting but would not say firmly yes or no if he was absolutely putting an end to his political aspirations. 

Highlights from Margaret's interview with Bloomberg:

  • Bloomberg reverses course on impeachment: The former NYC mayor said that while he previously sided with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in treading lightly on launching a formal impeachment trial, he says he now feels "at this point there's been so much information it leads one to think there's reasonable chance something wrong was done, we should have a trial."  
  • His message to Congress as they carry out the impeachment probe: "We as citizens should hold the feet to the fire, that's the purpose of the legislative branch, do your job."
  • Asked about his fellow former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Bloomberg said as a personal choice, he wouldn't delve into Giuliani's controversial role in the Ukraine fallout: "Rudy Giuliani, when he was mayor brought crime down, brought homelessness down, and after that I have no idea what he's doing," Bloomberg commented.
  • Bloomberg says local mayors are perfectly equipped to handle climate change: "Everybody understands that we have to do something," Bloomberg said of the shift in politicization of climate change. "We are making progress at least in America in reducing our carbon footprint. Federal government? No."
  • Bloomberg supports stronger restrictions on gun background checks and state line laws: Bloomberg suggested that there needs to be stronger restrictions along state borders in bringing guns across state, saying "It's easy to but them in one place and carry them into another." He added that accessibility and background checks are a major factor in addressing the gun debate. 
  • In that same line of debate, Bloomberg slammed gun control by executive action as Senator Kamala Harris has proposed, saying it's "not gonna happen."
  • "You can't walk in and say I'm going to fix education, I'm gonna get rid of crime, those are problems that require an enormous amount of time and local involvement," he added. 
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    Emily Tillett is the digital producer at "Face the Nation"