In a wide-ranging interview with CBS News’s Gayle King, Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg dismissed charges that the Democratic National Committee is unfair to minority candidates.
Bloomberg addressed concerns that the DNC’s debate qualifications have suppressed minority candidates’ electoral prospects, saying the voters are choosing which candidates they want.
“It would be better the more diverse any group is, but the public is out there picking and choosing and narrowing down this field. The truth of the matter is, you had a lot of diversity in the candidates, some of whom were very competent. Why they aren’t there as you narrowed it down, you’d have to talk to other people who are experts; I don’t know.”
Watch his comments below:
When pressed on concerns that the top tier candidates are all white, Bloomberg said there’s no reason why the field can’t be more diverse, adding, “Don’t complain to me.”
“There’s no reason if you wanted to enter and run for president of the United States, you could’ve done that. But don’t complain to me that you’re not in the race, it was up to you. And I thought there was a lot of diversity in the group of Democratic aspirants. Entry is not a barrier.”
King asked, “So you’re saying, ‘If you want diversity, then get in’?”
Bloomberg responded, “That is exactly a good way to phrase it. Thank you very much.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) lamented the lack of diversity in the Democratic primary field, claiming the DNC’s debate rules are unfairly winnowing the pool of candidates before voters have a chance to actually decide.
Both Booker and Julian Castro (Texas) have called for the DNC to change its structure for the primary race, claiming it benefits wealthy, white candidates and excludes minority candidates.
Billionaire candidate Tom Steyer also called for the DNC to loosen its debate requirements for the January debate.