Former New York City mayor and almost presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said he declined to run in part because he wants to be himself, unapologetically.
“It’s just not going to happen on a national level for somebody like me starting where I am unless I was willing to change all my views and go on what CNN called an apology tour,” he said at a Bermuda Executive Forum talk on Thursday.
He then dinged former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign announcement is all but certain, for embarking on such a tour:
Joe Biden went out and apologized for being male, over 50, white. He apologized for the one piece of legislation which is actually a pretty good anti-crime bill, which if the liberals ever read it, most of the things they like is in that bill. They should have loved that, but they didn’t even bother to read it. You’re anti-crime, you must be anti-populist.
But Bloomberg wasn’t done yet. He proceeded to mock former Texas congressman and 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, whose name he seemed to have had trouble remembering.
“Beto, whatever his name is, he’s apologized for being born,” Bloomberg said. “I mean, I don’t mean to be unkind. And a lot of people love him and say he’s a smart guy. And someday, if he wins, I’d certainly support him.”
Last week, O’Rourke’s Vanity Fair cover sparked controversy, as he was quoted saying, “Man, I’m just born to be in it,” regarding the race for the Oval Office.
That remark was immediately noticed by critics, including fellow candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), who pointed out that a woman might have not said the same thing.
On Sunday, O’Rourke clarified his statement, telling reporters he meant that he’s “born to serve,” not that he’s born for the presidency.