Bloomberg allies acknowledge his past 'disrespectful and wrong' comments about women

Bloomberg allies acknowledge his past 'disrespectful and wrong' comments about women
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Representatives for former New York Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBloomberg: Trump should be impeached Bloomberg releases gun control plan Bloomberg network used widely in finance directs to his campaign site: report MORE conceded ahead of a reported presidential run that the ex-mayor has made “disrespectful and wrong” comments about women, according to The New York Times.

A 1990 booklet of quotations attributed to Bloomberg included “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s,” and a suggestion that a computer would perform oral sex on the user, which would “put … a lot of you girls out of business,” according to the Times.

Bloomberg said the comments were merely “Borscht belt jokes” when they came up during his 2001 mayoral run. But more recently, in 2012, the then-mayor told two guests at a party to “look at the ass” on a female guest and last year said “I don’t know how true all of it is” of the sexual harassment allegations that led to the firing of CBS’s Charlie RoseCharles Peete RoseBloomberg allies acknowledge his past 'disrespectful and wrong' comments about women Saagar Enjeti rips ABC for alleged Epstein coverup CBS defends decision to bring back 'Bull' after allegations against star MORE.

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“Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong,” former City Hall press secretary Stu Loeser, now an adviser to Bloomberg, told the Times on Wednesday.

“He believes his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”

Bloomberg’s potential presidential bid will come in a political landscape that has been altered by the "Me Too" movement, with lawmakers in both parties resigning over allegations of misconduct or harassment.

The issue is particularly likely to galvanize Democratic primary voters, a majority of whom are women, according to the Times.

“If you have a problem with women, you are not going to be the Democratic nominee,” Democratic campaign strategist Mary Anne Marsh told the Times.

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Bloomberg’s political allies have countered by pointing to his pro-choice advocacy and promotion of women to top roles in New York City’s government, and several former city employees told the Times they never heard him make sexist comments while performing his duties as mayor.

However, Bloomberg has been the subject of several lawsuits alleging discrimination against pregnant employees, including a 1997 lawsuit alleging he responded to the news of an employee’s pregnancy with “kill it” and a class-action suit in 2007 alleging systemic discrimination against both pregnant employees and new mothers.

Bloomberg settled the 1997 case with no admission of guilt, while the 2007 case was dismissed for lack of evidence four years later, according to the Times.