Michael Bloomberg’s Views on #MeToo Could Threaten a 2020 Presidential Run as a Democrat

September 17, 2018, 1:57 PM UTC

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn’t denied that he’s considering a 2020 run for president. But Bloomberg, currently an independent, could change his party registration if he goes forward with the candidacy.

In a new interview with The New York Times, Bloomberg said, “It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican.” Instead, Bloomberg may run as a Democrat, although he admitted that it’s “not to say I’m with the Democratic Party on everything, but I don’t see how you could possibly run as a Republican.”

Nevertheless, it’s precisely his stance on a number of hot-button Democratic issues that might make a presidential run an uphill battle for Bloomberg.

On sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, Bloomberg declined to stand firmly behind the accusers. “The stuff I read about is disgraceful,” Bloomberg said, but he quickly added: “I don’t know how true all of it is.”

Speaking specifically about the allegations raised against former CBS anchor Charlie Rose, who broadcast his show from the Bloomberg office, Bloomberg simply claimed that “we never had a complaint,” noting that he was “surprised.” “I never saw anything and we have no record, we’ve checked very carefully,” he told The Times.

But it could be Bloomberg’s views on policing that prove to be the biggest divider between him and Democrats that fall farther to the left. While Bloomberg conceded that there have been “outrageous” cases of police abuse and shootings, he remained steadfast in his commitment to stop-and-frisk and in his conviction that it helped lower New York’s murder rate.

The policy is largely seen to disproportionately target black and brown men, with a federal district judge ruling in 2013 that it had been carried out in an unconstitutional way. What’s more, studies have found that there is no tangible correlation between stop-and-frisk and a reduction in crime. But Bloomberg sees no civil rights problems with the policy; instead, he told The Times, “I think people, the voters, want low crime. They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

For now, Bloomberg hasn’t committed to seeking office. He’s prioritizing supporting Democratic candidates in the November midterms, after which time he says, “I’ll take a look at it.”