Newly unearthed footage from March 2019 shows Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “some guy wearing a dress” during a panel discussion in which the billionaire derided the Democratic Party’s fixation on transgender issues.
“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,” Bloomberg said during a panel discussion at the Bermuda Business Development Agency eight months before he launched his presidential campaign. “That’s not a winning formula for most people.”
“We’re focusing on a lot of things that have little relevance to people who are trying to live in a world that is changing because of technology and communications and things like that,” the former New York mayor said.
The panel footage was first reported Tuesday by BuzzFeed News.
Bloomberg added during the discussion that the Democratic Party’s fixation on social issues created the environment for someone like President Donald Trump to thrive in American politics.
“And so you can understand where somebody like Trump comes from,” he said. “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 remarks are sure to put Bloomberg in the crosshairs of his Democratic opponents.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said in January that transgender issues are the “civil rights issue of our time.”
Bloomberg’s remarks about transgender people were unearthed the same day his campaign published a new ad featuring fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi boasting the billionaire’s sensitivity to LGBT issues.
“Mike is so incredibly sensitive to this issue,” Mizrahi said in the ad.
A spokesperson for the Bloomberg campaign told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday that the former New York mayor “understands that the transgender community has been under attack for decades and the advance of rights has not been equal.”
“Mike is running to defeat Donald Trump and reverse the many policies he has implemented that attack the rights of the transgender community,” the statement read.
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