Feb 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mike Bloomberg apologizes for calling transgender people "it"

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized in a call with transgender leaders on Thursday for previously referring to transgender people as "it" after more than a week of silence on the issue, per NewNowNext.

Driving the news: BuzzFeed reported on the ex-mayor's 2019 remarks earlier this month, citing a recently uncovered video in which Bloomberg stated: "If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that’s not a winning formula for most people."

  • He reportedly made a similar comment in 2016, BuzzFeed notes.

Why it matters: The move comes as another example of Bloomberg walking back previous positions and comments as he competes for the Democratic nomination.

  • Last week, Bloomberg offered to release three women from nondisclosure agreements related to claims of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination amid mounting criticism.
  • He also apologized for implementing stop-and-frisk policies in New York City that disproportionately affected people of color.

The other side: Bloomberg's recently released LGBTQ equality plan calls for a return to Obama-era protections that President Trump has moved to undo, specifically increasing law enforcement training to protected transgender people of color.

What he's saying:

"It was a poor attempt to describe how some who oppose transgender equality think about this issue — and those words do not reflect my unwavering support for equality for transgender Americans."
— Mike Bloomberg in a statement
  • "As mayor, I signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill and, as president, will promote policies that advance equality for transgender Americans who have been attacked by the Trump administration over the past three years," he added.

Go deeper

Bloomberg suspends presidential campaign, endorses Biden

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars to self-fund his 2020 presidential run, announced Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign after a poor performance on Super Tuesday and will endorse Joe Biden.

What he's saying: "I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden," Bloomberg said in a statement.

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Bloomberg on claims of sexist comments: "I'm sorry if somebody was hurt"

Mike Bloomberg speaks during a Feb. 29 dinner in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg apologized during a "60 Minutes" interview broadcast Sunday "if somebody was hurt" by language he's used in the past.

Details: CBS' Scott Pelley pressed the former New York City mayor on passages from a "tongue-in-cheek" 1990 booklet by his employees, titled "The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg," which contained crude comments purportedly said by him.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg's historic bust

Mike Bloomberg waves to supporters in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Super Tuesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Never in American history has a presidential candidate spent more to get less than Mike Bloomberg, making his buy-a-nomination bid a big bust. 

Why it matters: Bloomberg spent $600 million to win as many states as every American who chose not to run: zero. (He has American Samoa to show for it.)