Transcript for Michael Bloomberg weighs in on debate
We haven't had you on since you made a late jump into this race. Did you watch the debate last night? I did. What did you think? Best debate in 2020. You think? Oh, it's the only one. Funny. I didn't learn anything. He said/she said. I suppose it's good theatre but it didn't address the issues of the country and what they would do, and they're not really it's pre-canned sound bites. Everybody wants to say something that doesn't get them in trouble or does start a controversy that's been prescripted that they think is good. We should think about another format where they really -- somebody picks a subject and you have to talk about that subject. That to me would make more sense than just free Wheeling because you go from subject to subject and subject and never get two sides. You know what I was thinking watching it? I wish that I saw mayor Bloomberg up there to see how you would -- I did too. How you would fit in with those people. So you want like to be in a debate? I think I would like to do it. It's good visibility. Tom Steyer is self-funded but still raised enough to be on the stage. I wonder are you taking the easy way out by not standing up there? No, because it's harder to get the message out if you're not in the debates. It gives you a lot of television exposure. Look, I went for 12 years not taking any money. When the lobbyists went to city hall they never went to my ends of city hall because they knew they weren't going to be able to buy influence. If they wanted to submit something they could go through the normal process, and the same thing I would do in the federal government if I was lucky enough to be president. I do think that even if you took one dollar -- it's the look of I want people to talk about it. This guy is incorruptible. People say, oh well, he's just taken $2 million, it's in one dollar bills but it's still $2 million. You sort of imply to people that you're going to do something and later on if you want to change your views you've already taken their money. I just think if you can afford to be self-funding, you should. Beholden to no one but Mike To the public, the truth, justice and the American way. Interestingly, you still made some news last night because your campaign Twitter feed was sending out some strange -- some of them funny -- tweets. What was funny? I didn't see anything. I think we can pull that up. It says which meatball looks like Mike. I don't like meatballs. Did you see his face? The one in the front. People thought that you were hacked but it wasn't hacked. It's a way to get attention. It was young people that run the social media part of the campaign having some fun. I think it's fun. We're talking about it. And a little levity is fine. Yes, everybody is so serious. I do, I do. I didn't know that. I too like meatballs so there you go. You are running an unconventional campaign and skipping the first four states entirely. That was not by choice. Look, I thought about running. There were a lot of candidates, some of them I liked and could support comfortably and then -- so I decided not to. Then a lot of those dropped out and a lot of the candidates had ideas that to me didn't make any sense or were impractical and it looked to me -- I just watched them and I said can they beat Donald Trump and I sort of thought no. To me changing the president is the number one thing. Donald Trump is a disaster. That's right. I interested your reasoning for running for president but -- The point is when I won't back in it was just too late to go build a ground operation in the four early states. But you obviously -- I mean, you're an extremely famous billionaire. Do you think that making your own rules like this is sending the wrong message to the American public that you can sort of buy your way into the white house? Well, somebody said to me you're spending a lot of money and I said yes, I'm spending the money to replace Donald Trump. Do you want me to spend more or less. Right away they said spend some more. Look, I have the money. I made it. My father started out. My father made six grand the best year of his life. Nobody gave me anything. My family gave me values and I worked my way up, got very lucky, made a lot of money, give it all away, and to me this is just an investment in America in the same ways I invest a lot of money in fighting tobacco and guns and all of the other so, yeah --
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