TORONTO (AP) — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that if he decides to run for president he can still win despite being older.
The 76-year-old billionaire said there is a thought in America that if you are over 50, white and male you are never going to get elected, but he disagrees. He said during a question and answer session at the University of Toronto that people still want maturity, experience and accomplishment.
“There is nothing wrong with people being young. But there is also nothing wrong with people being older,” said Bloomberg, who turns 77 next month. “Getting older is a process that I hope continues.”
Bloomberg is weighing a 2020 Democratic presidential bid and said he has to decide whether winning is possible.
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Former Vice President Joe Biden is 76 and Sen. Bernie Sanders is 77 and both are also mulling it over. Donald Trump is 72.
Bloomberg said priorities for him include climate change, education and public health.
“Climate change could destroy the whole world and kill everyone on it,” he said. “It’s frustrating that a lot of people don’t understand that.”
Bloomberg is dead set against marijuana legalization, an issue popular among young people. He said government shouldn’t be making something with serious health effects easier to get.
“It’s just nonsensical,” he said.
Bloomberg has said he will decide whether to run this month or in February but said he is not in a rush. He plans to self-fund so he doesn’t have to hurry up in order to win major donors.
“My donor is not walking away,” he said.
Bloomberg had pointed words for Brexit and for Trump, calling Brexit the “single most stupid thing a country has done — then we Trumped them.”
He said America has been treating allies like enemies and enemies like allies.
He also said the issue of countries like Russia, China and North Korea trying to influence American elections isn’t being taken seriously enough.
“That’s like taking a gun and shooting one of our candidates,” he said. “We should be more than annoyed. I can’t believe for the life of me why we don’t take stronger action.”
Bloomberg also addressed a major concern for Canada — China’s arrest of two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the detention of top Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Canada arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder on behalf of the United States, which wants her extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
Trump said last month he might abandon that in pursuit of a trade deal with Beijing.
“Unfortunately, our misguided trade war with China is creating collateral damage for you,” Bloomberg said. “Having asked Canada to intervene in the Huawei technology case it would be an outrage if Washington dropped its extradition case in exchange for China agreeing to resuming buying a few more U.S products. That’s not the way our government has ever conducted business.”
“Treating prisoners like hostages that can be exchanged for cash is what terrorists and dictators do, not democracies and certainly not America and Canada,” he added.