Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was criticized for transphobic comments he made four years ago, but much more recent quotes just surfaced — from March 2019.
Bloomberg was speaking at a New York forum when he weighed in on the 2020 presidential race and said a candidate who vocally supports trans rights was someone bound to lose.
"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," Bloomberg said at the event, hosted by the Bermuda Business Development Agency.
"And so you can understand where somebody like Trump comes from. You can understand when you look at the Democratic Party, they are so far left that two years ago there was nobody on their side who would take these positions, and today virtually all the candidates for president of the Democratic Party are so progressive. I don’t know what progressive means."
The video is below, with the anti-trans comments at the 12:50 mark. Footage of the forum was discovered by Buzzfeed.
Bloomberg's campaign defended his LGBTQ record in a statement to Buzzfeed, saying he supports passage of the Equality Act, but not explaining his verbiage at the March 2019 forum.
The new footage comes after a 2016 video surfaced earlier this month of Bloomberg saying most people wouldn’t favor equal rights for transgender people because they don’t want "some man wearing a dress … in the locker room with their daughter."
In the video, the former mayor of New York City is speaking at Oxford University and saying "the intelligentsia" believe in certain things about equality "that don’t make sense to the vast bulk of people."
He then goes into laws regulating public restroom and locker room use by trans people, a hot topic in 2016 due to a restrictive law enacted in North Carolina (now partially repealed). "You want to know is somebody a good salesman," he says, "give them the job of going to the Midwest and picking a town and selling to that town the concept that some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with their daughter."
He also says people in prisons should be segregated according to their genitalia rather than their gender identity. However, trans prisoners often face violence when housed on such a basis — as do trans people forced to use restrooms and other public facilities for the gender they were assigned at birth.
Bloomberg has positioned himself as an ally of the LGBTQ community. The Advocate recently published a commentary from the candidate, in which he said the nation needs "a president who will no longer turn a blind eye to the horrifying number of transgender people who have been attacked or killed in this country — especially young transgender women of color."
He also recently released an LGBTQ equality plan in which he promised to "reverse the Trump administration policy that prevents transgender people from accessing facilities, services and basic necessities that are consistent with their gender identity."
Bloomberg was also as a proponent of the racist stop-and-frisk policing policy, and he has been accused of discrimination and sexual harassment by dozens of people.