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Tipsheet

Former Clinton Staffer Shreds Michael Bloomberg: He's Got Some Explaining to Do

Rumors are swirling that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is contemplating adding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to his ticket. According to one of Clinton's ex-staffers, Zerlina Maxwell, the move is highly unlikely. But, regardless of whether or not Clinton is on Bloomberg's ticket, the MSNBC analyst believes people need to dig deep into the billionaire's past.

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"One of the things that's been annoying me about this particular election cycle is when the men who are running for president speculate about women or women of color they're going to put on the bottom of their ticket as their number two in order to help their chances. Why can't we just talk about the women themselves?" Maxwell asked. 

She reminded people that the former secretary of state has repeatedly said she would not run for president again. 

"I'm highly skeptical of this particular report and I think, in some ways, it's to send a signal to the folks who still love Hillary Clinton, that they should look at Michael Bloomberg," the former staffer explained. "But they should look at Bloomberg on his own record. He has plenty of issues that he needs to address. He has not been in a debate. He has not done a national interview on television, so, right now, he's blanketing the airwaves with glossy advertisements. And if millions of dollars in advertisements didn't work to sell products, even defective ones, they wouldn't spend so much on advertising."

Bloomberg has taken hits over redlining and stop and frisk, MSNBC's Alex Witt said. Despite that, three members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have endorsed the former New York City major.

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Maxwell said voters shouldn't overlook Bloomberg's past policy positions simply because they want to beat President Donald Trump come November. 

"I don't think that by accepting a deeply-flawed candidate, particularly one who hasn't debated any of the other candidates. I think black and brown people are jumping ahead before we've even had an opportunity to weigh in at the ballot box," she said. "It's very important to get endorsements from the [CBC members]."

As the former Clinton staffer said, a candidate can receive CBC endorsements but that doesn't necessarily translate to black voters. In 2016, Clinton received substantial CBC endorsements but black voter turnout was low. 

"His record is one that should be examined by black and brown communities because it's nice to put money behind good causes and philanthropy, but if you're doing that at the same time that you're throwing black children up against the wall and defending it up until weeks before announcing your run, then people have a right to be skeptical of whether or not you really care about these communities," Maxwell explained. 

The MSNBC contributor said she doesn't buy Bloomberg's apology over stop and frisk. Although the billionaire has claimed he realized he was wrong and reversed the policies, Maxwell disagreed.

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"That apology is not even factually correct. He did not end the policy," she said. "He did not pull away from the policy. He got sued and the policy was ruled unconstitutional. He was forced to scrap the policy."

Maxwell said Bloomberg is "revising history" because those outside of New York City aren't as familiar with his policies, especially relating to race. In particular, she takes issue with Bloomberg blocking the Central Park Five's settlement for over a decade. 

"They were exonerated and they still had to wait 10 years to get compensated by the city. And Michael Bloomberg's administration blocked that payment. That was an intentional choice by that administration. That was not an oversight," Maxwell explained. "He needs to explain that."

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