Michael Bloomberg on North Korea crisis, U.S. economy and immigration
While the U.N. General Assembly is in session this week, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hosting a business forum for CEOs and government leaders.
On Tuesday, CBS News' Anthony Mason sat down with Bloomberg in New York for a wide-ranging conversation. They discussed whether Bloomberg has any regrets about not running for president, and well as the U.S. economy and immigration.
What follows is a transcript of the portion of the interview that aired Sept. 19, 2017, on the "CBS Evening News." Mason began by asking Bloomberg what he thinks about President Trump's warning to North Korea.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: There's no military option that is attractive, that where you can win. Everything is gonna be a lose. It's just a question of how much. But the lesson of all of this is that you can't deal with a rogue state like Korea by yourself. You have to have great, tight relationships with all, or lots of other countries, particularly the surrounding countries. And unfortunately, America's going in the other direction.
ANTHONY MASON: One of the first things that the president said in the speech today, which he often says, is that the stock market is at a record high.
BLOOMBERG: And it's up today.
MASON: What is that a reflection of?
BLOOMBERG: I have absolutely no idea. I cannot for the life of me understand why the market keeps going up. Our economy has some real challenges. The infrastructure's falling apart. We're destroying jobs with technology. We are keeping the best and the brightest from around the world [from] coming to America to create new jobs and create new businesses. All of those things would give you pause to worry about the future.
MASON: You've said immigration reform is probably the most important issue in the U.S. How much do you think it's costing us?
BLOOMBERG: Well, I don't know how you put a number on it. What is clear, if you look at who starts new businesses, people that are innovative and risk takers. When you look at immigrants, you really have to be an innovator and a risk taker to leave everything you know in the old country and go to a new country. People that come here come here to work.
MASON: If we slow immigration, restrict immigration, what's the price of that?
BLOOMBERG: We are hurting ourselves. We're hurting jobs. We have less business, less business formation, less new ideas.
MASON: You're afraid we're falling behind.
BLOOMBERG: I'm not afraid, we are. You think about China … China used to be, made in China? A joke. Cheap stuff, I didn't wanna use it. Today, made in China, quality.
MASON: You think they're doing it better than we are?
BLOOMBERG: In some places, yes. I still think there's no reason we have to fall behind. Unless we stop reaching out to the world, bringing the best and the brightest here, building good trading relationships with everybody. And you can't do it alone.
MASON: Have you had any regrets at all that you chose not to run for president?
BLOOMBERG: Well, no. I think it would have been a great job. I would have loved the challenge. I don't think there's any question about that. But we did a lot of work and we in the end decided an independent can't win.
MASON: Does that mean you're never going to run again?
BLOOMBERG: Well, you know, I've joked that I'm gonna run for the president of my block association.
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