Bloomberg blasts Trump's business record in convention speech

PHILADELPHIA -- Media mogul and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went after Donald Trump's business record at his Wednesday speech to the Democratic National Convention, lobbing insults about the Republican nominee's storied wealth as only a fellow billionaire can.

"Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, and thousands of lawsuits, and angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel they've been ripped off," Bloomberg, himself a billionaire whose net worth is believed to be several times that of the GOP nominee. "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business? God help us."

"I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one," Bloomberg went on, before listing off some trademark business practices of the Trump empire and pitting them against the nominee's promises.

"Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories," Bloomberg said. "He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them."

"Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy," he continued. "He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He's wrong on both counts."

Later, Bloomberg, consistently ranked by Forbes as one of the richest men in America, took a swipe at how Trump began his successful real estate business with some financial help from his family.

"We've heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business," he said. "I couldn't agree more. I've built a business, and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father."

In contrast, the former politician, who was elected New York City mayor as a Republican before switching his party affiliation to become an independent, gave high praise to the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.

Despite his lack of party loyalty, Bloomberg still urged voters -- especially independent-minded Americans -- to cast their ballots for Clinton, saying he understood what it meant "to have neither party fully represent my views or values."

"There are times when I disagree with Hillary," said Bloomberg, who seriously considered entering the presidential race earlier this year. "But whatever our disagreements may be, I've come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue."

Contrasting Clinton as a unifier to Trump's bombastic reputation, the three-time mayor added: "I believe we need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower; someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get big things done. And I know Hillary Clinton can do that -- because I saw it firsthand."

Bloomberg, who endorsed Clinton earlier this week, specifically cited her work as a New York senator as proof.

"I was elected mayor two months after 9/11, as a Republican -- and I saw how Hillary Clinton worked with Republicans in Washington to ensure that New York got the help it needed to recover and rebuild," Bloomberg said. "Throughout her time in the Senate, we didn't always agree -- but she always listened."

"And that's the kind of approach we need in Washington today," he added. "And it just has to start in the White House."