WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Trump was cautioned by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to go shooting off his mouth saying anything because his words can elicit violence and racism.
- In an interview with CBS “Face the Nation” which airs on Sunday, the billionaire also emphasized that the president should take great care when discussing issues because people are listening and behaviors change.
- Trump has often used brutal words, especially when referring to Central American migrants calling them an “invasion” and once lauded white supremacists and protesters as ‘very fine people’ in a clash in 2017.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes that President Donald Trump knows that a leader’s careless choice of words fosters racism and violence.
“Words matter,” said leading gun-control proponent, Bloomberg, in response to a question posted by CBS “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan who asked about Democratic presidential candidates associating Trump’s comments to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, where the gunman said he was targeting Mexicans. The interview airs on Sunday.
“I hope he understands this: He cannot go and shoot off his mouth and say anything,” said Bloomberg.
Bloomberg pointed out that during his term as mayor for 12 years, his words mattered. Every word that he uttered was repeated in papers every day, put into context and motives were attributed to everything he said. “The public reads, watches, listens to that. And that changes their behavior,” said Bloomberg.
Trump has frequently used savage rhetoric when referring to immigration and border issues, some of which was echoed by the publication believed by authorities to have been written by the suspected El Paso gunman. He also repeatedly referred to the Central American caravan migrants seeking asylum an ‘invasion’, and even applauded white supremacists and protesters calling them ‘very fine people, on both sides’ during a deadly 2017 clash in Charlottesville, Va.
“People look to their leadership for guidance. And to say that it doesn’t have an effect is wrong. So what the president says is very important. And if he supports, or says nice things about, racists, it encourages racism. If he goes and says nice things about white supremacists, he encourages that kind of violence,” added the billionaire former mayor.
Bloomberg also shared his thoughts on the 2020 presidential election in the CBS interview.
Though he first ran for New York City mayor as a Republican and then as an independent, he regarded himself as a potential Democratic contender in the 2020 race. One of the factors that kept him on the presidential sidelines was reportedly former Vice President Joe Biden’s candidacy where he commended Biden for being a “great American who’s worked very hard for the country.” Although, he said that the same thing can also be said about the other candidates.