Will Bloomberg's "Wit & Wisdom" Sink His Presidential Campaign?

Former New York mayor and current gun control sugar daddy Michael Bloomberg is hovering around 5% in national polls as he continues to pour millions of dollars into his presidential bid, but as ABC News reports, Bloomberg is likely going to have to spend some time and money undoing the damage done by a 30-year old collection of comments and quotes from the billionaire businessman.

When Mike Bloomberg’s friends and admiring colleagues compiled a small booklet of his “wit and wisdom” nearly 30 years ago, they opened it with this one-liner: “Make the customer think he’s getting laid when he’s getting [expletive].”

From there, the crude language continued: “What do I want?” it says on page six. “I want an exclusive, 10-year contract, an automatic extension, and I want you to pay me. And I want [oral sex] from Jane Fonda. Have you seen Jane Fonda? Not bad for fifty.”

And sexist: “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdales.” And, “I know for a fact that any self-respecting woman who walks past a construction site doesn’t get a whistle will turn around and walk past again and again until she does get one.”

The privately printed book was meant as a birthday gift for Bloomberg from employees back in 1990, but as critics note, collection of Bloomberg’s musings from the 1980’s could have a big impact on Democrat primary voters in 2020.

”There’s really little tolerance for a candidate who has problems with women,” said Michele Swers, a professor of American government at Georgetown University, describing the Democratic primary.”Things that used to not be talked about are now being talked about publicly,” Swers said. “There’s more attention on those kinds of issues, and so politicians are asked to address it.”

When Bloomberg was asked about some of the comments by ABC News over the weekend, he responded with boilerplate language about equality in the workforce at his companies, while a spokeswoman said that Bloomberg’s “words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”

In other words, yeah, he said some awful stuff, but that doesn’t mean he’s an awful guy. Of course, some former employees say the quotes actually do represent who Mike Bloomberg was at the time.

The woman who compiled the quotes from colleagues, Elisabeth DeMarse, had served as Bloomberg’s head of marketing in the 1990s. In a brief conversation earlier this month, DeMarse confirmed what she told New York magazine when it first surfaced publicly in 2001, as Bloomberg ran for mayor of New York.”He says this stuff to customers and new hires and anyone who comes into the office,” DeMarse had said at the time. DeMarse has signed a confidentiality agreement with the company and declined to be interviewed.”Yes, these are all actual quotes. No, nothing has been embellished or exaggerated. And yes, some things were too outrageous to include,” DeMarse wrote in the booklet’s forward.

Of course this isn’t the first time that a comment by Bloomberg has caused a stir. Just a few years ago, Bloomberg gave a talk in Colorado that he refused to release to the public. While the candidate hasn’t said why he didn’t want the content of that speech in the public domain, it might have something to do with the fact that he talked about fighting crime by “throwing” young minority men “up against the wall” to frisk them for weapons.

Michael Bloomberg is quickly finding out that his billions can buy him a lot of advertising and even endorsements, but it can’t erase his history of making cringeworthy and ugly comments in support of some of his awful ideas.